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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1876, by 


In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at "Washington. 







'T^HE story of the American Revolution — what our fathers accomplished, 
-*■- their hardships, heroism,* and self-denial, in securing the independ- 
ence of the country -and in advancing liberty and happiness throughout 
the world — will have an interest and charm of its own so long as the de- 
sire for freedom exists in the hearts of men. 

In this volume an attempt has been made to give a concise, plain, and 
authentic narrative of the principal battles of the Revolution as witnessed 
by those who took part in them. 

Although the name of Elijah Favor may not be found on the. Rye- 
field muster-roll, yet we have more than his counterpart in the^ person of 
Alexander Scammell, who fought at Bunker Hill, became Washington's 
trusted adjutant-general, and who gave his life to his country at York- 
town ; while Dodifer Hanscom, Esek Earl, and ISTicholas Dolof are repre- 
sentative boys of the time. 

One hundred years have passed since " the Boys of '76 " shouldered 
their muskets and fought for their liberties. The sufferings, hardships, 
hatreds, and barbarities of that struggle, all have passed away, and Ameri- 
cans and Britons are brothers ; but the story of the struggle — the patriot- 
ism, self-denial, and devotion — will never be forgotten. That a perusal of 
these pages may deepen the love of the boys of the present generation for 
their country, and C[uicken their love for liberty and the rights of man, is 
the earnest hope of 

c. c. c. 



The Alarm 17 

Bunker Hill 42 

Battle of Bunker Hill 47 

Drivustg the British out of Boston 61 

Expedition to Quebec 71 

Fort Sullivan 82 

Battle of Long Island 91 

Evacuation of New York 108 

Battle of White Plains 113 

Lake Champlain 123 


Battle of Trenton 129 

Princeton 139 



Fort Schuyler 166 


Bennington 180 

Brand ywine 195 

Stillwater 204 

Germantown 215 

The Highlands of the Hudson 223 

Saratoga 231 




Operations on the Delaware 245 


Valley Forge and Philadelphia 254 

Stony Point 262 

Monmouth 269 

Affairs in Rhode Island 280 

Affairs m South Carolina 289 

West Point 


CHAPTER XXVin. p^ge 

King's Mountain and the Cowpens.. 334 

General Greene's Retreat 345 

Guilford Court-house 353 

EuTAw 364 

Fort Griswold 372 



Conclusion 396 



The Alarm Frontisjnece 

Samuel Adams 18 

John Hancock 19 

Lord North 20 

Carted through the Streets 24 

A Tory 25 

Paul Revere.— [1735-1818] 27 

The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere 28 

Ebenezer Dorr 29 

" The Regulars are coming !" 30 

The Lexington Massacre 31 

The British Troops on Concord Common. — 

[Fac-simile of an Old Engraving] 33 

" Let us stand our Ground " 35 

Major Pitcairn stirring his Brandy 36 

Mr. Hunt's House. . 37 

Burning the Cannon Carriages 37 

Map illustrating the Concord Fight 38 

"The Shot that is heard around the World" 39 
Halt of Troops near EHsha Jones's House. . 40 
Merriam's Corner, on the Lexington Road . . 40 

View of Bunker Hill 45 

General Israel Putnam 46 

General Joseph Warren 46 

Plan of the Battle of Bunker Hill 48 

Bunker Hill 50 

Burning of CharlestOTvn 53 

Bunker Hill after the Battle 55 

Putnam putting out the Fire at Fort Ed- 
ward 56 

The French Commander saving Putnam. ... 58 

General Putnam starting for Boston 59 

Putnam's Sign 60 

General Washington 61 

Washington taking Command of the Armv. 62 


Washington's Head-quarters, Cambridge ... 63 

Boston, with its Environs, 1776 64 

"From the Right Bank of the Potomac, 

General !". 66 

General Henry Knox 67 

Boston from Dorchester, where the Intrench- 

ments were erected. — [1776] 68 

British Fortifications on the Neck 69 

The Old South 70 

Getting the Boats around the Falls 72 

Arnold's Route to Quebec 75 

View of Point Levi from Quebec 77 

Wolfe's Ravme '78 

Richard Montgomery 78 

General Guy Carleton 79 

The Cliff..." 79 

Where Arnold attacked 80 

Lord Germain 82 

Colonel Moultrie 83 

Fort Sullivan 88 

Sir Henry Clinton 84 

Charleston in 1776 85 

Sir Peter Parker 86 

Sullivan's Island— Position of British Fleet 86 

The Way the Guns were mounted 87 

The Flag 88 

Sergeant Jasper 89 

King's Bridge 92 

New York, with the Entrance of the North 

and East Rivers 93 

Washington's Head-quarters 94 

The British Fleet in the Lower Bay 96 

The Place where the British landed 97 

Map— Battle of Long Island 99 

Lord Stirling 101 




New York, 111Q 101 

John Callender saved by a British Officer,. 103 
Lord Stirling's Last Struggle around the 

Old Cortelyou House 104 

Browyer's Mill 105 

The Marbleheaders at Home 105 

Colonel Glover 106 

Colonel Glover superintending the Embar- 
kation 107 

Jacobus Kip's House 108 

Beekman's Mansion 110 

Morris's House Ill 

Battle-field at Harlem 112 

Howe's Head-quarters 113 

Washington's Head-quarters at White Plains 1 14 

Alexander Hamilton 114 

Place where the British crossed the Bronx 115 

Chatterton Hill 116 

Operations after the Evacuation of New 

York, 1776 , 117 

The Palisades 119 

Landing of the British Forces in the Jerseys, 

November 20th, 1776 121 

Engagement between Valcour Island and the 

Western Shore of Lake Champlain 124 

Action of the 13th of October 125 

Scene of Arnold's Naval Battle 126 

The Crew escaping 127 

Independence Hall. 129 

General Charles Lee 130 

Lee's House 131 

General Sullivan 131 

Trenton 132 

Place where Washington crossed 133 

Washington crossing the Delaware 134 

Trenton, 1777 135 

Colonel Ball's Head-quarters 136 

Robert Morris 140 

Bridge at Worth's Mill 141 

Battle of Princeton 144 

Princeton, 1777 146 

Battle-ground at Princeton 147 

" God bless-you !" 150 

General Burgoyne ■ 152 

St. Johns, 1776 153 

Isle Aux Noix 154 

Crown Point 154 

A Tender-hearted Hyena 155 

Edmund Burke 155 

Burgoyne making a Speech to the Indians. 156 

Country around Ticonderoga 157 


Ticonderoga 158 

Chimney Point 158 

Ticonderoga and the Lake, from Mount De- 
fiance 160 

General St. Clair 161 

The Place where the Boats were burned.. . 162 

Battle of Hubbardton 164 

Battle-field at Hubbardton 165 

Albany Ope Hundred Years ago 166 

General Philip Schuyler 167 

Bundle of Sticks 168 

Johnson's House 168 

Butler's House 169 

The Church 169 

The Mohawk at Little Falls 170 

Stone Meeting-house at German Flats 170 

Colonel Gansevoort I7l 

Colonel Marinus Willett 171 

St. Leger's Attack upon Fort Schuyler .... 172 

Battle-field at Oriskany 174 

General Herkimer's House 176 

Place where Jane M'Crea was murdered. . . 181 

John Langdon's House 182 

General John Stark 183 

Dragging the Cannon. : 184 

New Hampshire Boys 185 

Van Schaick's Mill 186 

Bennington Battle-ground 188 

Bennington Heights 190 

Battle of Bennington 192 

Washington's Head-quarters at Brandy wine 196 

Chad's House 196 

Lafayette '. 197 

Lafayette's Head-quarters at Brandy wine. . 197 
Place where Howe and Clinton crossed the 

Brandywine 199 

Birmingham Meeting-house 199 

Plan of the Battle of Brandywine, Septem- 
ber 11th, 1777 200 

The Place where Knyphausen crossed the 

Brandywine 202 

Howe's Head - quarters after the Battle of 

Brandywine 202 

Old Philadelphia 203 

Kosciuszko 205 

Gates's Head-quarters at Saratoga 206 

Neilson's House 206 

Colonel Morgan 208 

Colonel Morgan's House 209 

Flag of Morgan's Rifle Corps 209 

Battle-field at Stillwater 212 




The Tunker Meeting-house 216 

The Chew House, Germantown '^2]6 

The Chew Coach 21Y 

Reception in Chew House 218 

Battle of Germantown 220 

View from Fort Chnton (looking North). . . 223 

General George Clinton. 224 

Bloody Pond 22Y 

Burning the Ships 229 

The Prison-ship Jersey 230 

Battle of the Yth of October 234 

Never again will hear the Footsteps of her 

Boy. . 236 

House in which General Fraser died 23*7 

Place where General Fraser was buried . . . 239 

General Schuyler's House 239 

General Schuyler's Mill 240 

The House occupied by Baroness Reidesel. 240 

The Cellar 241 

Burgoyne's Camp on the 13th of October. . 241 

Surrender of Burgoyne 242 

Place where the British laid down their 

Arms 243 

Operations on the Delaware 246 

The Fort at Red Bank 246 

Whitall's House at Red Bank. ... .... 247 

View from Red Bank 248 

The Explosion of the British Ship . 249 

Fort Mifflin 250 

Continental Money . 254 

General Howe's Quarters at High Street, 

Philadelphia 255 

Whitemarsh. 255 

Lydia Dairah's House 256 

Washington's Head-quarters, Valley Forge. 258 

Baron Steuben 258 

One of the Ladies. 259 

Captain Cathcart. 260 

Stony Point ..,'.... 262 

General Anthony Wayne. 263 

" The Fort is our own !" 266 

Stony Point and Verplanck's Point 26*7 

A Baggage-wagon 270 

The Country between New York and Phila- 
delphia , . 271 

The Meeting-house at Freehold 272 

Plan of the Battle at Monmouth 276 

The Battle-field at Monmouth. 278 

Colonel Barton 281 

The House in which Prescott was captured 282 
The Alden Tavern. ... 283 


Admiral D'Estaing 284 

Map of Rhode Island, 1778 285 

British Encampment 287 

Butts's Hill (looking South) 287 

View looking North from Butts's Hill 288 

General Lincoln 289 

Governor Rutledge. . 290 

Plan of the Siege of Charleston, in South 

Carolina 291 

Colonel Tarleton. 292 

The Butchery of Buford's Men 293 

Andrew and the British Officer. 294 

House in which Andrew Jackson was born 295 

Baron De Kalb 295 

Colonel Sumter 296 

Rugeley's Bridge 296 

Marion on his Way to join Gates . , 297 

Sander's Creek 298 

Plan of the Battle fought near Camden, 

August 16th, 1780 299 

Marion in Pursuit of the British 301 

Map of Hudson River at West Point 303 

Part of the Chain 304 

The Beverly Robinson House , . 305 

Benedict Arnold 305 

John Andre. — [From Portrait by Joshua 

Reynolds]. . . 306 

West Point 308 

Hall in the Beverly Robinson House — Head- 
quarters of Arnold 310 

Colonel Robinson 311 

Smith's House 312 

Colonel Lamb 313 

Honora Sneyd , . . . , 314 

Arnold, Andre, and Smith : the Midnight 

Meeting. 31() 

The Hudson between Dobbs's Ferry and 

West Point 317 

View from Smith's House 319 

The Breakfast of Hasty-pudding 320 

The Old Church at Sleepy Hollow 321 

The Old Mill in Sleepy Hollow 322 

The Headless Horseman, Sleepy Hollow . . . 323 

Capture of Andre 326 

Major Tallmadge 327 

The Breakfast-room 329 

Arnold's Escape , 33 1 

Fac- simile of a Sketch by Major Andre, 

made the Day before he was executed . . 332 

Monument to Andre 333 

Kind's Mountain Battle-'irround 330 




Depeyster raises a White Flag 337 

General Nathaniel Greene 339 

Colonel William Washington 340 

Colonel John E. Howard 342 

The Cowpens Battle-ground 343 

Cowan's Ford 347 

Where Greene crossed the Yadkin 348 

Colonel Otho H. Williams 349 

Retreat of the Cavalry 850 

Greene crossing the Dan 351 

Colonel Lee 353 

The Pond 355 

Guilford Court-house 356 

Battle of Guilford 357 

Battle-field at Guilford 359 

General Marion 360 

Marion inviting the British Officer to Din- 
ner 361 

Marion and Lee capturing 'Fort Watson ... 363 

Nelson's Ferry 364 

Eutaw Springs 365 

Colonel Pickens 367 


Rochambeau 380 

Thomas M'Kean 382 

Raleigh Tavern 383 

" Give me Liberty, or give me Death !". . . . 384 
Position of the English and French Fleets 

previous to the Action 386 

The Landing at Jamestown 386 

Governor Nelson's House 386 

Siege of Yorktown, October, 1781 387 

Lauzun 388 

The Place where Adjutant - general Scam- 

mell was killed 389 

The Fortifications at Yorktown . . . 389 

The only Safe Place - 390 

View at Yorktown 391 

Moore's House 392 

British Flag 392 

Surrendering the Colors 393 

Washington's Head - quarters below New- 
burgh 396 

Interior of Room — Washington's Head- 
quarters at Newburgh 397 




ELIJAH FAYOR lived in Ryefield, np among the New Ham] 
hills. On the morning of April 20th, 1775, as he was milkin 
cows, he heard a clattering of hoofs, and, looking up, saw Deacon 
coming as fast as his old mare could bring him, and that was no 
enough to suit the deacon, for he was striking the creature with a f 
and digging his heels into her sides. He was leaning forward ; his 
tails were streaming in the w^ind. The mare was striking fire c 
gravel and leaving a cloud of dust behind. 

" Turn out ! turn out !" shouted the deacon. As there was no ' 
the way, Elijah wondered if the good man had gone crazy. 

"Alar-um! alar-um!" he cried. Elijah thought that surely th( 
had lost his. reason. 

"Alar-um ! alar-um ! The red-coats are out, cutting and slashi 
before 'em ! they have killed a lot of folks at Concord ! Go — the n 
men are parading !" the deacon shouted to Elijah's father, who was 
ing in front of the house. The deacon did not stop — did not slacl 
speed even, but rode on, and in a moment disappeared behind a cl 

Mr. Favor stepped into the house, seized his gun and fired it, re 
and fired again, and a third time. Almost before the reports had 
to echo, there were answering guns from the neighbors up the road, 
mile away. 

They were alarm guns — the signal agreed upon for alarming the 

try, if the services of the*minute-men were needed. Mr. Favor was 

~>ldier and a minute-man. He fought at Louisburg i!a- 1745, at Ti 

' "i General Wolfe, in 1759, and now 



3d to be ready to go at a minute's notice to defend the coiintrj against 
•itish troops. 

jail ran into the house. He ^as sixteen years old, stout and hearty, 
and his father taking down his powder-horn and bullet-pouch. 
iOt me go in your place, father," said Elijah. His blood was up. 
3WS brought by the deacon had set him on tire. '"' Let me go ; I am 
and strong, and can stand it better than you can." 
. Favor knew that Elijah had spoken truly, for he was well along in 
lie gray hairs were hanging about his ears, and the rheumatism was 

racking his bones. Yet he was ready 
to go, to defend his own rights and 
the rights of his countrymen. 

" If either of you must go, let it 
be Elijah," said Mrs. Favor. 

That settled it. Mr. Favor hand- 
ed the powder-horn to Elijah; Mrs. 
Favor bustled around, and in a few 
minutes had his knapsack filled with 
bread and cold meat, besides a pair 
of stockings and a shirt. 

" Don't show the white feather 
to the red-coats, my boy!" said Mr. 

" Take good care of yourself. 

Don't get sick, and God bless you, 

'Lijah !" said Mrs. Favor. 

ou'll come back again, 'Lije, won't you ?" said his sister Dolly, who 

her arms about his neck and kissed him. He saw a tear on her 

it was that which made something come up in his throat, but he 

it down, shouldered his gun,l said " Good-bye," and started for the 

y-house. ' 

could hear a drum beatins: the lono^ roll. Men were runnin^^r, with 
their hands. He could see that the minute-men were parading on 
en. When he arrived at the meeting-house, he found Captain Ab- 
i the other officers, and nearly all the members of the company. 
■ them were three of his -playmates — Dodifer Hanscom, Nicholas 
iud EsekJEarl — who were going in the place of feheir fathers. 
! boys took their places in the ranks. Just before the comj^any wap 
o start, the old gray-haired minister, Rev. Mr. Tniegi-ace, stor 
le horse-block, and all took off their hat 




When he had finished, Captain Abbot stepped to tlie head of the company, 
drew his sword, and gave command. 

"'Tention, comp'ny ! Trail arms! By the right flank — file right — 
march 1" 

The drummer and fifer struck up " Yankee Doodle," and, with Deacon 
Clyde on the right of the line, and Captain Abbot at the head, in advance 
of the drummer and fifer, the Ryefield minute-men filed across the green, 
and turned into the road leading to Boston, leaving their friends and 
neighbors — old men leaning on their canes, and women and children — 

standing on the steps of the 
meeting-house and around the 
horse-block, gazing after them 
with throbbing hearts and tear- 
ful eyes. 

Captain Abbot and his men 
knew what they were on the 
march for — to defend their 
rights. They understood the 
whole question at issue between 
England and the colonies. Eli- 
jah, Dodifer, Mcholas, and Esek 
had read the speeches of James 
Otis and Samuel Adams, the el- 
oquent patriots of Boston. Eli- 
jah could repeat by heart what 
they had said in Boston town- 
meetings about the rights of the colonies to be represented in Parlia- 
ment. He knew what John Hancock had said, the rich merchant of 
Boston, who had been in England, and was present at the king's corona- 
tion, and who was now President of the Congress in session at Pliiladel- 
phia. . He had read the letters of the Pennsylvania farmer, John Dicken- 
son, and the speeches of Edmund Burke and Colonel Barre, who had main- 
tained the right of the colonies to be* represented in Parliament, and who 
had contended that without such representation Parliament had no right 
to tax them. He knew all the arguments that had been put forth by Lord 
North and Lord Grenville on the other side, maintaining that, as the debt 
of England w^as largely contracted in driving the French out of Canada, 
the colonies ought to help pay it. He had heard all about the Stamp Act, 
and had rejoiced to hear that the people in Bostoii had thrown a lot of tea 
into the harbor rather than have it landed. But the kinsr's ministers had 




undertaken, in revenge, to destroy the liberties of the people. They had a 
bill passed by Parliament, called the Regulation Act, which took away the 
rights and liberties of the people of Massachusetts. Under the charter the 
people elected their councilors and representatives, but under the new law 
the number of councilors was changed. There might be twelve, or thirty- 
six, and they were to be appointed by the king through the governor, who 
could remove them at any time and appoint others. The sheriffs, judges, 
justices, and all officers who, under the charter, had been appointed by 
the governor and council together, were to be appointed by the governor 
alone. The governor was to say what salaries all officers were to receive, 
and the people were to have nothing to say about it. 

As the governor was appointed by the king, such a law made the king 
the government, but, as the king was three thousand miles away, it virt- 
ually made the governor the government. The people were not permitted 
oven to elect jurors ; that was to be done by the sheriffs. Twice a year 
the people might meet in town-meeting, and elect town officers and repre- 

resentatives ; but nothing else was to be done, 
nor could any other meeting be held without 
the permission of the governor. 

Troops had been sent over from England 
to enforce these laws, and Governor Hutchin- 
son had been instructed to arrest Samuel Ad- 
ams and John Hancock, and send them to En- 
gland to be tried for treason. 

This was in 1774. Parliament had also 
passed a bill, called the Boston Port Bill, shut- 
ting up the port of Boston, so that no ships 
^ '^ could arrive or depart except war-ships. Xren- 
eral Gage had been ordered to Boston, to 
take command of the troops and enforce these 

On the first day of June, 1774, Governor Hutchinson sailed for En- 
gland, and when the clock on the old brick meeting-house in Cornhill 
struck twelve on that day, the Boston Port Bill went into effect. 

What that bill was, and what effect it had upon Boston, Elijah Favor 
learned from a letter written by his cousin, Peter Tremont, who lived iii; 
Boston : % 

"Boston, January 1st, 1775. 

' "Cousin Elijah, — You can't think how dull it is here in Boston. Six 
months ago this was the liveliest town in America. Every body was busy ; 



the streets were filled with people, the shop-keepers were selling their 
the carpenters were putting up houses, the shipwrights were buildir 
sels, the calkers and rope-makers were all at work, ships were comii 
going : but now it is just like Sunday. Not a ship can come into tl 
bor, nor can one go out. The war-ships are anchored in the chann 
the guns at the castle are kept loaded, ready to fire upon any ves 
tempting to pass. A fishing smack can't go down to Cohasset to 
cod, nor a dory even to Spectacle Island to catch mackerel or cunne 
y " The people of Watertown or Xewton can't load a gundalow wit 
Vood and bring it down Charles River, and unload it at Boston ; n 
the farmers who cut hay on the Medford marshes load a scow and I 
down the Mystic, and deliver it at the Blue Anchor or any other sta 

" The brick-makers at Leechmere's Point can't load a boat with 
and take them across the water to this town. The people of Charl- 
have some nice cabbage-gardens out on the road leading to Char] 
j^eck, but they can't bring a cabbage or turnip across the ferry a 
it in market. 

"A man who owns an apple orchard on Bunker Hill, and som 
trees on Breed's Hill, just beyond Charlestown, when he w^anted to 
his fruit last fall, couldn't bring it across the ferry, but had to ti 
apples in a cart, out over Charlestown Neck, round through Can 
and Roxbury, to get to market. Nothing can come or go by water. 

" Perhaps the Mng and his ministers think that they can brim 
terms by corking us up, as if we were so many, flies in a bottle; bi 
will find themselves mistaken. The people are more determine 
ever not to give in. 

" It is hard on the poor. There are hundreds of sailors lo 
around the taverns and boarding-houses, drinking grog, with not] 
do. Hundreds of ship -carpenters, house-joiners, and mechanics a: 
The wharves are rotting; grass will grow in the streets in the 
The town looks as if half the people were dead, and the other ha^ 
attending their funeral 

" The town is full, of soldiers. The Common is covered wdtl 
cannon, and baggage -wagons. Sentinels are posted everywhere, 
morning and evening, and at midday, we hear the drums beating. 

" People all over the countr}^ ai'-e sympathizing with us, in a p: 
way, by sending provisions. The people in Hartford, Connecticu 
the first to inform us that they would help us, but the Windham 
folks got ahead of them. They sent two hundred and fifty-eight si 
July. A few^days later. Colonel Israel Putnam, who is an old soldi 



oiiglit against the French and Indians with Governor Gage, and who 
ith Lord Howe at Ticonderoga w^hen he was killed, came with one 
ed and thirty sheep. From almost every town in Xew England the 
; have sent something — rye, wheat, flonr, pease, beans, cattle, sheep, or 
The people of Wilmington, North Carolina, have raised £2000 for 
L ship-load of rice has been sent by the people of Charleston, South 
na, to be landed at Newport, for, of course, it could not be landed 1 

Mr. Gadsden, w^ho wrote a letter to the people here, is full of pluck. ] 

;^ears some, for he writes, ' Don't pay a cent for the damn^ni tea.' ' 

^rench and English at Quebec have sent one thousand bushels of 

..ord North planned a mean game. He thought that he would play 
irblehead against Boston, making that place the port of entry. He 
led that the Marblehead merchants w^ould be so eager to get tlie 
that he could get up a rivalry which would divide the people of the 
'. Some of the traders of Marblehead jumped at the bait, and were 
enough to solicit General Gage for his patronage, but one hundred others signed an address to General Gage, in which they 
Nature, in the formation of our harbor, forbids our being rivals in 
erce to Boston. And were it otherwise, we must be lost to all the 
rs of humanity, couM we indulge one thought to seize on wealth and 
)ur fortunes on the ruin of our suffering neighbors.' 
3o you thi^k that Boston is going to give in, so long as the whole 
•y, except here and there a Tory, is with her ? 

When Colonel Putnam was here, he stopped with Dr. Warren. He 
1 acquainted wdth most of the officers in the regiments here, and 
3ut to the camps on the Common to see them. He had a good talk 
klajor Small. ' If Boston don't give in, she may expect twenty ships 
line and twenty regiments over here pretty soon,' said Small. ' If 
ome, I shall treat them as enemies,' Puin am replied, 
xeneral Gage finds it difficult to get the machinery of the new goi'- 
nt into working order. He has appointed a set of councilors, but 
ivon't accept, and others who have accepted have been obliged to re- 
Timothy Paine, of Worcester, accepted, but the people of that town 
[ out one night, formed a hollow square, and made Paine stand in the 
:, take off his hat, and resign the office. Then they started — about 
hundred of them— for Putland, where Mr. Murray, another conn- 
ives ; but Murray-'-took to his heels, and they couldn't find him. 
/Ir. Willard, another coimcilor, who lives in Lancaster, happened to 
ivn in Connecticut, and the people there, hearing of it, made him 


march six miles, and so friglitened him that he promised never to take his 
seat. Out of thirtv-six appointed by Gage, more than twenty have backed 
out, while the others are sneaking round like dogs that have been stealing 

" Gage don't have any better success with the judges whom he has ap- 
pointed. When the time came for holding the court at Springlield, where 
Gage's new judge was to sit, about two thousand people formed in proces- 
sion, and, with drums beating, marched to the court-house, set up a black 
flag, and told the judge that if he entered the court-house it was at his 
peril. One of the officers of the court — Williams, of Hatfield — had to go 
round a large circle and ask the people's forgiveness. Two others got 
down on their knees and resigned their offices. The crowd put old Cap- 
tain Mirrick, of Monson, upon a cart, drew him round a while, and threat- 
ened to give him a coat of tar and feathers for accepting office ; but, as he 
is an old man, concluded not to do it. 

"Any man can lead a horse to water, but a whole army can't make him 
drink, and that is what Gage is just finding out. When the Superior Court 
was opened the other day here in the State-house, every man who had been 
selected as juror refused to take the oath. 

"'Why do you refused the chief -justice (Oliver) asked of Thomas 

"'Because the chief -justice of this court. Judge Oliver, has been im- 
peached by the late representatives of this province,' was the fearless reply. 
Three cheers for him ! 

"' General Gage called a meeting of his new council at Salem, but not 
enough for a quorum obeyed the summons, and so, though it is contrary to 
the Regulation Act for the council to meet in Boston, he had to adjourn it 
to meet here, on the pretense that it can't do business unless protected by 
the troops. He is the first to break the new law ! • , . 

" The people are in earnest, as General Gage and all his officers mil* 
soon find. Judge Myrie, who lives up in Monson, is one of Gage's coun- 
cilors. He has made himself obnoxious to the people, and not long ago 
they treated him to a free ride in a dung-cart. 

. '^An outrage was committed on the morning of September 1st. The 
province powder-house is at Quarry Hill, almost on tlie line between Med- 
ford and Cambridge. The powder there belonged to the different ^owns, 
and Gage concluded to seize it. About daylight tw^o hundred and sixty 
soldiers got into boats at Long Wharf, rowed up tlie Mystic, and landed at 
Mr. Temple's farm ; marched to the magazine ; took away two hundred 
and fifty half -barrels (all there was) ; then went on to Cambridge and 




seized two field -pieces, and returned as if they had been making an excur- 
sion into the enemy's countiy. 

" The next day there was a lively time in Cambridge. All Middlesex 
was aflame, to say nothing of the towns in Worcester. The people came 
flocking into town — several thousand of them. Dr. Warren and some of 
the other patriots rode out and persuaded the citizens not to do any thing 
rash. They found old Judge Dar forth standing on the Court-house steps, 
promising never to have any thing more to do with Gage's government. 
He is a councilor. Then the sheriff was called upon to resign. 

" The boj^s are as wide awake as the men. They hoot at the Tories 
and pin papers to their backs. The Tories do not like such notoriety ; but 
so long as they nphold the unjust measures of the king, they must expect 
to be hooted at* 



" The people in the country towns are organizing companies of minute- 
men, who are to be ready, in case of an alarm, to start at a minute's notice. 
A ship just in from England brings word that a lot more of troops are to 
be sent over to force us to submit, and the prospect is that, sooner or later, 
we shall have to fight for our liberties ; for as to submitting to such tyran- 
ny, w^e will not. . Petee." 

Elijah, Esek, Nicholas, and Dodifer were equally determined with Peter 
that they never would submit to such tyranny, and so they were hastening 
toward Boston. So rapidly did they march that they found themselves 

at Medford, only ^ve miles from Boston, at the end of the second day, 
having marched nearly sixty miles. Tie New^ Hampshire troops were 
assembling in that town. The Essex County (Massachusetts) troops were 
in Chelsea. Other Massackusetts troops were at Cambridge. Some Con- 
necticut troops were there. The Khode Island soldiers were in Eoxbury. 

:>nel elohn Stark, 
vas captured by 

26 THE BOYS O^ '76. 

the Indians while out hunting on a stream called Baker's River, one of the 
branches of the Merrimac. He was taken to Canada. When he arrived 
there, the Indians told him that he must run the gantlet, and thej formed 
themselves into two Hues, with clubs in their hands, to give him a blow as 
he passed. His fellow-prisoner, named William Stinson, ran first, and was 
terribly beaten. Stark had no intention of soifering that way, and when 
it came his turn to run, he wrenched the club from the hands of the first 
Indian, then, swinging it with all his might, knocked the Indians right and 
left, tumbling them one upon another, and getting through without receiv- 
ing a blow, but leaving many aching heads behind him. Instead of pun- 
ishing him for what he had done, the Indians patted him on the back, and 
'called him a " brave," and wanted him to be their chief. 

One day they set Stark to hoeing corn. That was degradation, for the 
squaws hoe corn — the braves never. Stark pretended that he did not 
know corn from weeds, and so cut it up. They threatened to punish him, 
whereupon he threw the hoe into the river. The Indians found that they 
could do nothing with him as a prisoner, and were glad to sell him his 
freedom. He came back to Xew Hampshire, and, when war broke out 
between England and Fi'ance in 1755, he went to Lake Champlain as a 
captain of the New Hampshire Rangers, and fought the French and In- 
dians, made many a weary march through the wilderness, and did the en- 
emy all the damage he could. Now he was ready to do what he could in 
defense of his rights. 

The soldiers felt their blood flow more quickly through their veins as 
they listened to the story of what had occurred at Lexington and Concord. 
This is the way it was : the Sons of Liberty saw that in all probability they 
would have to fight for their liberties. Samuel Adams, John Hancock, 
and men from all parts of Massachusetts, had met in convention to delib- 
erate upon the dangers that threatened them. They collected some can- 
non, powder, balls, flour, fish, and rice at Concord. Governor Gage heard 
of it, and on the 20th of March sent two of his ofiicers. Captain Brown and 
Ensign De Bernicre, dressed as citizens, to see what the Sons of Liberty 
were doing. General Gage had ten regiments of troops in Boston, and he 
resolved to send out a part}^ secretly, and destroy the cannon, seize the sup- 
plies, and also to capture Hancock and Adams, who were stopping with 
Rev. Jonas Clarke, in Lexington. It was eighteen miles to Concord, and 
about twelve to Lexington, 

The Sons of Liberty in Boston kept a sharp lookout on all n-f n-on.^>- 
movements. On^ ' .. vere, wh- 

cleaned watches . '. . .-^d \ ; ■^■i-'^^?^^ 


Afiotliei' was Ebenezer Dorr, who 
dressed calf -skins. Another was 
Henrj Knox, a young man who kept 
a book -store in Cornhill, where the 
British officers of a literary torn used 
to lounge when they had nothing else 
to do. Another was Mr. Hall, who 
kept a grog-shop. Another was Mr. 
Devens, an adjutant in the militia. 
All of these, and scores more, had 
their eyes open. 

Mr. Hall was in his grog-shop on 
the evening of the 18tli of April, 
when a woman stepped in. She was 
a poor creature who lived in the bar- 
racks of the Forty -tln'rd regiment. 
She had been drinking, and was a lit- 
tle tipsy, but wanted another drink. 

" The troops are going out to Con- 
cord to-night," said the woman. 

Mr. Hall pricked up his ears. 
Out to Concord ! The cannon were there — and the powder. Mr. ' 
had an apprentice, William Baker. He took William one side, whisp 
in his ear, and in a short time William was going upon the run to 
Adjutant Devens. And a few minutes later, the people who lived a1 
north end of the town were surprised to see two lighted lanterns h 
ing in the belfry of the North Meeting-house. Little did they think 
those two tallow-candles would throw their feeble rays far down the < 
uries. But people over in Charlestown and Cambridge, who were on 
watch, understood the signal, that the British troops were going to ( 
from Boston to the main -land in boats, instead of marching out 
the "JN'eck" to Roxbury. William Baker was meanwhile upon the 
toward the north end of the town. The sentinels knew him, and did 
stop him, for he served them with grog. He found a boat, and pi 
across the river to Charlestown, and ran to see good Deacon Larkin, 
had a fast horse. The deacon heard what William had to say, and ra 
his stable, and saddled and bridled the horse. A moment later th( 
genious watch-maker and engraver, Paul Revere, leaped into the sa 

{inrl disa.-m^p.fl.rpd in thp, dn.vknpRS. vidino' north -west alonST the roa 

PAUL REVERB. — [1735-1818.] 






'A hurry of hoofs in a village street, 
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark, ,' 

And beneath from the pebbles, in passing, a spark ' 
Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet ; 
That was all ! and yet, through the gloom and the light, 
The fate of a nation was riding that night ; 
And the spark struck out by that steed in his flight 
Kindled the land into flame with its heat. 
He has left the village and mounted the steep, 
And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep, 
Is the Mystic meeting the ocean tides ; 
And under the alders that skirt its edge, 
Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge. 
Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides. 
It was twelve by the village clock 
When he crossed the bridge into Medford town; 
He heard the cr^owing of the cock 
And the barking of the farmer's dog, 
And felt the damp of the river fog, 
That rises after the sun goes down." 

^eople who had just gone to bed heard the clattering of hoofs, and 
iered who was riding at snch a break-neck speed. He halted at houses 



here and there, thnndering at the doors. ^' The Regulars are out," he says, 
and the next moment is away. 

While Paul Revere is riding out through Medford, Ebenezer Dorr, 
mounted on an old plod-jogging horse, with his saddle-bags flopping at 
every step of the animal, is going out over Boston Neck. The British sen- 
tinels say to themselves, " He is a countryman," never once mistrusting 
that as soon as the rider is past the last sentinel the old mare will be going 
like the wind toward Cambridge. 


Ebenezer reaches Cambridge, stops a moment with the Committee of 
Safety, and then, with the old mare all afoam, is riding toward Lexington 
with a letter from Dr. Warren to John Hancock. 

About eight hundred British are on the march, under Lieu tenant-col- 
onel Smith, of the Tenth regiment, and Major John Pitcairn, of the Marines. 



Paul Revere has tlie start of Mr. Dorr, and comes thundering up to 
Rev. Mr. Clark's at midnight. Sergeant Monroe and eight men are guard- 
ing tlie house. 

" You can't come in, and you mustn't make a noise," the sergeant says. 

" You'll have noise enough before morning," the rider replies. 

" I can't admit strangers at this time of night," tlie good minister says. 

Jolm Hancock knows the watch-maker's voice. 

"Come in, Revere; we know you," he shouts from the chamber window. 

They hear the exciting news. 

"the regulars are coming!" 

"mng the bell!" savs Hancock; and a few minutes later the people of 
Lexington hear the bell ringing as it never has rung before. They hear 
it saying, " The Regulars are coming ! the Regulars are coming !" 

John Hancock, young and full of fire, is cleaning his gun. His ladv 
love, Dorothy Quincy, is there at Mr. Clark's. Will not her presence nr 
him brave ? 

" John, it isn't our business to fight to-nigl^t ; we belong to the 
rnittee," Samuel Adams says, with his hand on- 'John's shoulder, an 
goes with him to the next town, Burlington, to wi'ite his name, a ye 



so large, upon the Declaration of Independence, that King George can 
read it without putting on his spectacles. 

Up in Lexington village, young Jonathan Harrington, iifer to the min- 
ute-men, is sleeping ; but his mother hears the bell, and hastens to Jona- 
than's chamber. 

" Get up, Jonathan ! The Kegulars are coming, and something must 
be done." 

The minute-men with the guns are running to Mr. Buckman's tavern. 

Half-past four in the morning, Thaddeus Brown comes running up the 
road to Buckman's. 


" The red-coats are almost here !" 

The drummer beats the long roll out on the green, in fr 
irjg-house. The minute-men come out from the tavern ar 
Captain Parker is their commander. He sees in the da 
long column of British troops coming up the Boston road 
fifty men; they will be powerless against eight hundred. 

" Disperse— don't fire !" is the order of the cool-headed; 
as they begin to disperse, Lieutenant-colonel Smith and 
ride forward. The major is sixty years old. People sa 

"* -.:> -..^^,, i^,-,f Kri i.oa ir)cf |ij'c hfad tbiP morniTio*. ] 


v^.^.^ p; 


" Lay down your arms, you d — d rebels, and disperse !" he slion 
fires his pistol. 

" Fire !" It is Lieutenant-colonel Smith who issues the order, a 
British open fire, killing eight and wounding ten of the minute-men. 
others flee, and the British give a hurra over the victory, which is n 
but a massacre. 

At two o'clock, Paul Eevere rode into Concord. A few minuter 
the meeting-house bell was ringing, and the whole town w^as astir. 
cannon, powder, balls, flour, and supplies must be saved. Some ( 
farmers came with their ox-carts, others with their horses, to conv( 
articles to places of safety. The cannon carriages, poor things, ro 
itry wheelwrights, were taken across Concord Hi 
aouse. It was thought best to bury the cannon, and 
dragged into a field, a trench dug, the cannon laic 
' 3ver them; then a farmer began to plow the field, 

arted away to barns and covered with hay. No sL 
iL aitoi ^ 3 o'clock; but men and women are astir, doing wha 
.. r^ecure '^- ry thing before the British make their appearance. 
>Vltliou^'i s the 19th of April, the season is far advanced. The 
ach-trees in bloom, and the birches and maples are pi 
' Kji.i 5. The robins are building their nests, and the spa 

• ^ '^tiirpiui , le thickets, on this bright, sunny morning. 

; vrM) < The people of Concord hear a drum beat, and the 

playing the " White Cockade." The fifer down b} 
fankee Doodle," and a boy laughed to hear him. 
)U laughing at, boy?" asked Major Pitcairn. 
the Yankc 's will make you dance it before night," said the boy. 
i^jrhap:^ the Qfer was tired of "Yankee Doodle," and so struck i: 
vV iiite Cockado " for a change. 
And BOW the people, looking down the Boston road, behold the 
rariks^of the British. Major Pitcairn ahd Lieutenant-colonel Smith a 
• ■ '^-nck. Above the advancing column waves the cross of St. G'. 
lias waved in triumph over many a battle-field. The sunlig 
i r jm the bright gun-barrels and bayonets. Proudly, defiantly, the 
iiioves on. 

The peovlo ^f Concord know nothing of the slaughter at L 
Fifty or more ) linute-men have gathered under Major Buttrick 

)5iiv kne^ what ! r^u uc ' ":i^.iv.i^^.^r ■; - 

•them, Wliat cart :gft :,-. ^r^fa^r A 




"let us stynd our ground." 

troops ? Kot much. They have succeeded in secreting most of the can- 
non and nearly all of the powder, and some other things. They have done 
what they could. The flag that waves above them is not so gorgeous as 
the banner of the king ; it is only a piece of cloth with a pine-tree painted 
upon it, but brave men are marshaled around it. The minister of Con- 
cord, Eev. Mr. Emerson, is there, with his gun on his shoulder. 

" Let us stand our ground," he says. 

" We are too few ; w^e had better retreat to the other side of the river," 
says Major Buttrick. He is no coward, but is cool-headed, and gives wise 
counsel. The minute-men march up the street, cross the bridge, but come 
to a halt by Mr. Hunt's house. 

The British troops halt in the road by the meeting-house. Colonel 
Smith and Major Pitcairn dismount, leave their horses, go into the burial- 
ground, and with a spy-glass look across the river to see what the minute- 
men are doing. Some of the troops — about two hundred — cross the river 
to Colonel Barrett's, and set the gun-carriages on fire. Other squads are 
sent to search the houses and barns of the people. They find a barrel of 
musket -balls and throw them into a well, break off the trunnions of the 
cannon which the people had not time to bury, and stave in the heads of 
fifty barrels of flour. 



The troops have marched all night, are weary, hungry, and thirsty. 
They call for breakfast, which the people give them — bread and milk or 
bacon and eggs. The officers pay liberally, in some instances handing out 
a guinea and refusing to take any change. Major Pitcairn and some of 
the officers go into Mr. Wright's tavern and call for brandy. Major Pit- 
cairn stirs the grog with his fingers. 

"I mean to stir the damned Yankee blood as 1 stir this before ni<rht'' 
lie savs. 


\ HOT f^: )f:'^' ' - 


The minute-men are all west of the river. From the west come men 
from Acton, the next town, under Captain Isaac Davis. He has kissed his 
wife, Hannah, good-bye, saying to her, ''Take good care of the children, 
Hannah," and here he is wiping the sweat from liis brow, for he and his 
men have come upon tlie run. The Sudbury men are coming from the 



south, and the Bedford men from the west. They met near the north 
bridge, in front of Major Buttrick's house. They can see smoke ascending 


from the town and from Colonel Barrett's, where the gun-carriages are 
burning, but think that the British have applied the torch to their houses. 


The party of British which have been to Colonel Barrett's house 
turned to the bridge, and are taking up the planks. 

have re- 



" They are burning the town. Shall we stand here and permit it ?" 
says Adjutant Hosmer. 

"Let us march and defend our houses. I haven't a man that is afraid 
to go," says Major Buttrick. 

" Neither have I. Let us go," says Captain Davis. 

T]iey are five hundred now. Colonel Barrett is commander. 

" File right ; march to the bridge. Don't lire unless you are fired upon," 
is his order. 

John Buttrick and Luther Blanchard,fifers, strike up the " White Cock- 
ade," the drums beat, and the men move on in double tiles. Captain Davis 
and the Acton men leadhig, the Sudbury, Concord, Lincoln, and Bedford 
men following. 

Pi,i>i,p2lS-ftr"fherg N.r 


The British, one litmdred and fifty, are on the east side, and the Ameri- 
cans on the west side, of the river. They are not ten rods apart. A British 
soldier raises his gun. » There is a flash, and the fifer, Luther Blanchard, 
feels a prick in his side. A dozen British fire. Captain Davis leaps into 
the air and falls with a ball through his heart. Nevermore will Hannah, 
the beloved wife minding the children at home, feel the lips of the brave 
man upon her cheek. Abner Hosmer also falls dead. 

" Fire ! for God's sake, fire !" Major Buttrick shouts it. He raises his 
gun, takes quick aim, and fires the shot which Eev. Mr. Emerson's grandson 
says, " is heard around the w^orld." 

Captain Brown is a Christian. He never swore an o ith in his life, but 
his blood is up, and he utters a curse — " God damn them, they are firing 



balls ! Fire, fire !" he shouts, takes aim, and a British soldier falls, the first 
ill the affray. " Fire ! fire ! fire !" 

The shout runs along the line. Two or more of the British fall killed 
or wounded, and the others flee toward the village. 

: -^^ 

"the shot that is heard around the world." 

" The war has begun ; and no one knows when it will end," sajs IS^oah 
Parkhurst, one of the Lincoln men. 

It is eleven o'clock. Lieutenant -colonel Smith and Major Pitcairn 
are alarmed. They send out messengers to bring in the scattered troops. 
The Yankee blood is getting hotter than Major Pitcairn thought possible. 
He has stirred it effectually, and his own life will yet go out in the fire he 
has kindled. Colonel Smith marshals the troops in front of Elisha Jones's 

It is high time he was on his return to Boston. Yet he does not like 
to go, for fear the Yankees will think he is afraid. He will not be in a 
liurry. But the Yankees are gathering in larger force. He can see them 
down by the river. They are marching round through the meadows to cut 
off his retreat. Twelve o'clock. The British move out of the town, but 
instantly from behind the fences rise up unseen faces. There is a rattle of 



muskets, and British soldiers drop by tlie roadside. The minute-men are 
no longer in line. Every man figlits for himself. He is his own general 


and captain. Colonel Smith is wounded in the leg, and Major Pitcairn in 
the arm. He tumbles from his horse, and the horse escapes. The Ameri- 
cans see it running wild in the fields and capture it. The British are upon 
the run now. Down the road toward Lexington they flee, stopping now 
and then to load and fire, then running again, with men dropping from the 
ranks at every step. 

. The Billerica and the Reading minute-men have arrived to harass them, 
and there is a sliarp figlit at Merriam's Corner. 


At every corner, every tm-n, in every orchard, in every wood, the mill- 
ute-men attack the retreating troops. 


Back to Lexington tliey hasten. Oh, what a welconae sight is tliat which 
they behold ! Lord Percy, with eleven hundred men and two pieces of 
cannon, are at Lexington. The fugitives are worn out. Their tongues 
hang from their mouths, like the tongues of deer when hunted by hounds, 
as they throw themselves upon the ground under the protection of the 
sheltering cannon. 

And now it is a battle all the way to Charlestown. The shades of 
evening fall as the British troops rush across the narrow neck of land to 
Charlestown. Seventy-three of their number have been killed, and one 
hundred and seventy-two wounded, and twenty-six missing. Of the min- 
ute-men, forty-nine have been killed and thirty-six wounded. Men from 
thirty-one towns have followed them. Such the story. 

It was no great hardship for Elijah and Dodifer, Esek and Nicholas, to 
spread their blankets in a barn and sleep on a haymow, for many a time, 
while out hunting raccoons, they had slept on the ground. 

From Medford they could look across the salt-marshes and see the 
steeples of the meeting-houses in Boston, and at night, when all was quiet, 
could hear the clock on one of the steeples striking the hours. 

Colonel Stark drilled the regiment every day. The boys had enough 
to eat, the nights were warm, the days beautiful, and so the time passed 
swiftly by. 

42 THE BOYS OF 76. 



It was day-break on the morning of the 17th of June, when the 
roar of a cannon went over the marshes toward Medford and Cambridge. 
Elijah, and Dodifer, and Nicholas, and all the other soldiers, sprung to 
their feet and rushed out-of-doors. 

" Boom !" it came again. And now, looking toward Charlestown, they 
saw a wliite cloud enveloping the war-ship Lively^ which was at anchor in 
the stream between Boston and Charlestown. There was a bright flash, and 
again the deep, heavy thunder of the cannon came rolling over the green 

They wondered what w^as going on, but as the day brightened they 
— VJ gge ^2X. not only the Lively^ but the other ships, were firing at an 
nkment of earth which had been thrown up during the night on a 
verlooking Charlestown. When the sun rose, they could see men at 
with picks and shovels. The firing soon ceased, but the work went 
.-. .Soon it was rumored through the camp that Colonel William Prescott, 
with about one thousand men, part of his own regiment, about one-third 
of Colonel Bridge's, and a third of Colonel Frye's, and one company of 
Connecticut men, under Lieutenant -colonel Knowlton, had started from 
Cambridge the evening before, to construct a fort on one of the hills near 
Charlestown. Before they started they paraded on Cambridge Common, 
in front of the meeting-house; and the President of Harvard College, Rev. 
Mr. Langdon, offered prayer. Two sergeants with dark lanterns led the 
way, and the soldiers marched in silence, followed by two carts loaded with 
picks and shovels. They crossed Charlestown Neck about eleven o'clock, 
but it was after midnight before a shovelful of earth w^as thrown up; and 
there they were, working like beavers, with the cannon-shot flying around 

About nine o'clock an ofiicer came to Medford, where Colonel Stark 
had his head-quarters, with a message from General Artemus Ward, who 
was commander-in-chief of all the troops around Boston. His head-quar- 

BUNKER HILL. - • 43 

ters were at Cambridge. A few minutes later the adjutant of the regi- 
ment came out of Colonel Stark's quarters with an order for Lieutenant- 
colonel Wyman to march with two hundred men to Charlestown, to re- 
enforce Colonel Prescott. Dodifer had been transferred to another com- 
pany, and his was one of those ordered to march. 

" I wish that our company had been selected," said Elijah. 

" Don't be in a hurry, boy," said the old soldier, who had fought at 
Quebec. " Likely as not you'll have a chance to show your pluck before 
night, for what our boys are doing on the hill there is like giving General 
Gage's nose a tweak. Ye see, our boys can fire right plum-down upon the 
ships ; and if he don't try to drive 'em out, then I'm mistaken." 

Elijah looked across the marshes once more and saw that the tide was 
coming in, and that the Lively and another war-ship, the Symmetry, were 
floating up-stream. The Symmetry came well up toward Charlestown ISTeck 
and dropped anchor. The firing from the ships had stopped, but now it 
began again louder than ever. The •church bells were ringing in Cam- 
bridge, and there was a general commotion in all the camps. 

About eleven o'clock another ofiicer came in haste from Cambridge to 
see General Stark. A minute or two later, the drummers came out with 
their drums and began to beat the long roll. 

" Fall in ! fall in !" shouted the ofiicers. 

The boys seized their powder-horns and bullet-pouches and guns, and 
took their places in the ranks. The regiment marched to Colonel Stark's 
quarters, and each man received a gill of powder and several bullets and 
an extra flint. Colonel Stark came out, drew his sword, and turned to the 

"By sections, quick step, shoulder arms, march!" was his order. The 
drums beat, the regiment moved down the street, crossed a bridge spanning 
the Mystic River, and took the road leading to Charlestown. 

The bell on Medford meeting-house was ringing for twelve o'clock 
when tliey started. An hour's march brought them to an elevation called 
Plowed Hill, from whence they could look down upon the harbor and 
upon Charlestown. The Symmetry^ with twenty guns, threw shot across 
Charlestown Neck, over which they must march. Farther down the har- 
bor, near the ferry between Charlestown and Boston, was the Lively, with 
twenty guns ; beyond it the Glasgow, with twenty-four guns ; the Cerhe- 
rus, with thirty-six guns ; and the Somerset, with sixty-eight guns. Admi- 
ral Graves's flag was floating in the bix^eze above tlie quarter-deck of the 
Som^erset. The Symmetry w^as sweeping the l^eck with its guns, while 
the other ships were flring at the bank of yellow earth on the hill. 

44 THE BOYS OF 76. 

The regiment marched on, and came to some troops that had hajted in 
the road, as if afraid to cross the narrow isthmus leading to Charlestown. 
Elijah saw Major Maclarj, of Colonel Stark's regiment — a tall man, for 
whom he had great respect — step forward to see what the trouble was. 

" Why don't yon go ahead ?" Majgr Maclary asked. 

The halting troops made no reply. 

^' I:^ou ain't going, step one side, will you, and give us a chance ?" 

The troops stepped to the side of the road, and the regiment 
marched on. ' ; 

"Bang! bang! bang!" went the cannon of the Symmetry. Suddenly 
the air was full of horrifying noises. Something unseen went by with a 
terrible screech. Something plowed a furrow in the ground and threw 
the gravel stones into the boys' faces. Something came with a terrible 
whirr, and passed over their heads. Their hair stood on end. They 
wished that they were not there, and w^anted to turn and run. They 
never wei-e so frightened before. ^ Colonel Stark was marching, at the 
head of the regiment, a slow and measured step. They wished he would 
go faster. 

" Don't you think it would be well to go across upon the double- 
quick ?" Captain Dearborn asked. 

"No; one fresh man is woifh two tired ones," the colonel replied, 
keeping the same steady step. They crossed in safety. As they passed 
up the hill on the other side, they met some soldiers who had been at work 
tlirough the night upon the intrenchments. 

" What's the news ?" Elijah asked. 

" The red-coats are landing at Moulton's Point," said otie. 

"A cannon-shot killed one of our men — Asa Pollard, of Billerica," said 

" But ain't you going the wrong way ?" Esek Earl asked. 

" We ha\e worked all night and through the forenoon without a wink 
of sleep, nor have we had any thing to eat or drink," said one of the retir- 
ing soldiers. 

The regiment came to some houses, where Colonel Reed's ISTew Hamp- 
shire regiment was quartered. It was under arms, and followed Colonel 
Stark's up a hill, and over it to a rail -fence, which ran from the water 
straight up the hill, toward the intrenchment. 

The farmers had been mowing their grass the day before, and had 
raked some of it into cocks and windrows. As they came to the fence, 
Elijah saw the Connecticut troops under Colonel Knowlton at work, tear- , 
ing down another rail -fence and setting it up against the one behind,-' 



whicli they had halted, and stuffing the space between with hay. Colonel 
Stark told his men to do the same. The boys laid 
down their guns, and in a few minutes had a hay 
breastwork, which, if it would not stop a bullet, would 
at least screen them from the red-coats. 

Colonel Stark got over the fence, went out about 
eight rods, and drove a stake into the ground. 

" There, boys," he said, " if the red-coats attack us, 
wait till they get to this stake before you fire." 

The boys had shot partridges farther away than 
that, and they thought that a red-coat would stand a 
])Oor chance at that distance. 

All the while, Dodifer was in the intrenchment on 
the top of the hill. He could look over the breast- 
work and see all that was going on. At first he did 
not dare to look, the cannon-balls flew so thick ; but 
he soon got accustomed to hearing them fly past, and 
took a look now and then. 

There was a great commotion in Boston. Officers 
were riding furiously through the streets, and soldiers 
were marching from their barracks to Long Wharf. 
The roofs of the houses w^ere covered with people. 
'Cannon on Copp's Hill were flaming and thundering, 
sending their shot across the water. The harbor was ? il'^fcs4 V 
alive with boats bringing soldiers from Long Wharf 
to Moulton's Point. 

One of the hills was owned by Mr. Breed, and 
the other by Mr. Bunker. The fortifications were on 
Breed's Hill, but the engagement is known as the bat- 
tle of Bunker Hill. 

Behind him, Dodifer saw an embankment of earth, 
■ extending from the north-east corner of the intrench- 
ment down the hill. There were few soldiers in the 
intrenchment at this moment — not more than three 
hundred. The rest — worn and tired, hungry and 
sleepy — had straggled away, except a few, whom Col- 
onel Prescott had sent down into the village of Charles- 
town. Dodifer was glad when he saw the rest of the 
regiment, followed by Colonel Eeed's, march down to 
the fence, and when some soldiers from Colonel Nix- 

^ c 

?? ts 
£ a 


voloiiel Little's, and other regiments, arrived, to help defend the 
jnchraents. An officer on a white horse was riding furiously about. 
One moment he would be at the intrenchment, 
talking w^ith Colonel Prescott; then he would 
gallop to the rail -fence and talk with Colonel 
Keed and Colonel Stark, and with the men ; 
then he would be away to the rear, hurrying 
up re-enforcements, and planning another in- 
trenchment on Bunker Hill. 

" That is ' Old Put.' He is a tio-er at fi^ht- 
ing; I was with him at Ti," said a soldier, wlio 
had fouffht the French and Indians at Ticon- 



It was Israel Putnam, from Conneot- 

A noble-looking man, well dressed, and in the prime of life, entered 
the intrenchment* Dodifer saw some of the soldiers take off their hats to 
him. "That is Dr. Warren, of Bos- 
ton, one of the truest patriots that 
ever lived. He has just been made a 
general," said a soldier. 

Dr. Warren went up to Colonel 
Prescott and shook hands with him. 

"I yield the command to you," 
said Colonel Prescott. 

" Oh no ; I come as a volunteer," 
the doctor replied, and looked around 
for a gun. 

The cannon-balls were flying thick- 
er than ever, and some of the soldiers 
were frightened. To inspire them 
with courage. Colonel Prescott step- 
ped upon the embankment and walk- 
ed backward and forward, telling the soldiers not to fire till the British 
were so near that they oould see the white of their eyes, and then to aim 
at their belts. The soldiers admired him, he was so cool. They fixed 
their flints, looked at the priming, and waited for the coming-on of the 






THE sun was shining from a cloudless sky, and Dodifer could see all 
that was going on down in the harbor. The British troops were land- 
ing and forming on the beach. While the boats went back to Boston for 
more soldiers, those already landed sat down upon the grass and eat their 
dinners. When all had arrived, the regiments formed in a field. There 
were five of them — the fifth, thirty-eighth, forty-third, forty-seventh, and 
fifty-second, and a battalion of marines; nearly three thousand men in all. 
The ofiicers were noble-looking men. General Howe was commander-in- 
chief ; General Burgoyne and General Pigot commanded under him. 

It was a grand sight — the long lines, the red coats faced with buff, the 
white pantaloons of the soldiers, the white cross-belts, the bright buckles, 
the tall caps, the sunlight gleaming from the guns and bayonets, the mov- 
ing columns, the drums beating, the fifes playing, the bugles blowing, the 
ships all aflame, and great white clouds rolling high above the masts, an- 
other white cloud ascending from Copp's Hill in Boston, the roofs of the 
houses covered with people : all together it was the grandest sight Dodifer 
had ever seen — so grand that he almost forgot that he was standing there 
to fight those advancing columns of Old England. The thought came: 
what chance would he and his fellow-soldiers have, men and boys as they 
were, without discipline, knowing nothing of war, without bayonets, with 
only their shot-guns, with a few bullets, and only a gill of powder in their 
horns — what chance would they have of defeating troops that had fought 
the veteran soldiers of France and Spain? ^ot much. Yet it was no 
time to flinch. He resolved to do his best. 

Similar thoughts came to Elijah, Esek, and Nicholas, as they lay upon 
the grass behind the fence. They could hear the cannon roaring, and, as 
they looked along the water toward Moulton's Point, could see the light- 
infantry and grenadiers getting ready to advance. 

The British troops were in motion, advancing slowly. They were yet 
at a considerable distance, when there was a flash, a puff of smoke. 



"Down! down!" shouted every body. Tlie boys dropped beliind the 
fence, and the next moment a cannon-ball went screaming over tlieir 
heads. • 

" It whistles a lively tune," said Esek. 

Beliind the intrenchments there was a good deal of excitement just at 
this moment. Some of the men had rifles, and they liad been accustomed 
to bring down a buck or a wolf or fox at long range. They laid their 
rifles on the top of tlie intrencliment and took aim and fired, and men 
down in tlie British ranks suddenly tlirew np their hands and fell headlong. 

"Stop firing!" shouted Colonel Prescott ; and an officer jumped npon 
the embankment and kicked up the rifles. 

" Save your powder. Wait till they get within eight rods," he said, and 
the soldiers reloaded their rifles and waited. 

The light -infantry and grenadiers w^ere getting nearer to the fence. 
Elijah peeped through the hay and saw tlie soldiers of the front rank come 
to a halt. He heard the colonel commanding them say, " Take aim !" 
They leveled their pieces. " Fire !" he shouted. There was a flash, a white 
cloud, and the air was filled with leaden hail which struck into the ground, 
splintered the rails of the fence, or flew abo\e the heads of the boys and 
their fellow-soldiers. 


" Keep quiet, boys ; don't be in a hurry," said Captain Abbot, as he 
walked up and down the line. 

Another volley came, and another. The bullets were whistling close to 
Elijah's ears. He was getting nervous, for the British troops were only a 
few rods away — so near that he could hear their tramping. He cocked his 
gun — he was down on one knee, with the muzzle resting on a rail. There 
was a clicking of locks all along the line. 

" Don't get flustered ; keep cool," said Captain Abbot. 

"Aim low," said an old soldier at Elijah's right hand. 

"Take good aim," said one at the left. 

" Pick off the oflScers," said Esek. 

Elijah ran his eye along his gun-barrel and took aim at a white belt. 
It was a good mark to aim at, a white belt on a red coat, and many a sol- 
dier died that day, as there has on many other battle-fields, simply because 
the showy uniform of Old England is the best of targets. 

The white pantaloons and red coats were up to the stake which Colonel 
Stark had driven. There was a sudden crack, a rattle, a roar. The bovs 
fired, then sprung to their feet and loaded their guns as quick as they 
could. There was a white cloud along the fence from the water up the hill 
almost to the embankment. Looking through the smoke, Elijah could see 
men reeling and falling to the ground. Some were down on their knees 
trying to get up. Some were trying to save themselves from going down. 
The front rank was broken up. Some were running; ofiicers were flour- 
ishing their swords, and trying to stop them. Elijah fired again as quick 
as he could, and so did all around him. The second line of the British 
was tumbling to pieces, and the third ; and a moment later all except the 
ofiicers took to their heels and ran back through the fields to Moulton's 

The boys off with their hats, swung them over their heads, and hurraed 
as loud as they could. And now the intrench ment on the hill was all 
afiame, and the regiments under General Pigot were fieeing. 

"Hurra! hurra! hurra!" came from the hill. The back -woodsmen 
were a match for the troops of Old England ! 

There was a great commotion at Moulton's Point. Officers were run- 
ning here and there rallying the men, telling them how disgraceful it was 
for them to be whipped by a handful of Yankees. After a while the lines 
wer3 reformed, and the British troops advanced a second time. 

There were some brick-kilns in one of the fields, and the artillery came 
past them, wheeled into position, and began to fire upon the breastwork. 
The light-infantry and grenadiers came on again, but not quite so proudly 

52 THE BOYS OF 76. 

as before. They halted, fired, advanced, and fired again. The bullets 
came through the hay. A soldier close to Elijah was wounded. At first 
Elijah, Esek, and Nicholas had trembled, but now they were as cool as if 
waiting to get a shot at a deer. 

The British came on. Click, click, click, went the gun-locks again. 
They were so near that Elijah could see the whites of their eyes. 

Again there was a ripple and a deafening roar. When the smoke cleared 
away there was a heap of dead and wounded — a windrow of men. Some 
staggered a few steps before they fell, while others dropped as nine -pins 
drop when the ball goes down the alley. Again the British troops were 
fleeing, and vain were all the efforts of the ofiicers to stop them. 

While this was going on in front of the fence, Dodifer and the men 
behind the intrenchment were waiting for the advance of the troops under 
General Pigot. The British went slowly up the hill. They almost reached 
the intrenchment when the parapet blazed, and the ranks went down as 
the grass falls before the mower, and those who could get away fled to 
Moulton's Point. Again there was a hurra. 

" We can lick the lobsters," shouted Dodifer, in his enthusiasm. 

" We'll drive 'em into the sea," shouted another. 

Nearly a third part of the British had been killed or wounded. G-en- 
eral Howe saw his fine army melting away. Thus far he had been de- 
feated, but it never w^ould do to give it up so. What would the king say ? 
What would all England say ? He must drive the rebels out of the fort, 
or his honor and every thing else would be lost. 

•^^ It is murder," said the British soldiers. " No troops can stand such a 

General Clinton was in Boston, and now he came across the harbor 
with four hundred men to help in a third attack. 

The British soldiers laid aside their knapsacks and prepared for a last 
desperate attempt. General Howe had learned a lesson from the New 
Hampshire boys behind the fence. He would not have any more men 
slaughtered there; he would only make believe that he was going to attack 
them ; he would march a few soldiers in that direction, but would hurl his 
main body upon the handful of men behind the intrenchment on the hill. 
He had discovered the weak place in the intrenchment: it was at the 
north-east corner. 

Suddenly a black smoke rolled up from Charlestown, growing blacker 
every moment. The town was on fire. A shot, called a ca ^^ss, had been 
fired across the water from Boston, with the intention of he town 

on fire, and now the flames were leaping from window anc^ d steeple. 


In a few minutes four hundred houses were on fire. While the town 
was burning, the L'ght - infantry, as before, marched toward the fence, but 



[This picture was drawn by a British engineer at the time of the battle. The view is from Copp's Hill, 
in Boston, looking north. A British battery on Copp's Hill fired across the water and set the town on fire. 
The smoke of the battle is seen on the hill behind the town. The wind was south-west, and carried the 
smoke eastward over the Mystic River. The boats around the ship at the right hand are carrying Sir Henry 
Clinton and the re-enforcements to Moulton's Poipt. The meeting-house is the North Church, from which the 
lanterns were hung out on the night before the battle at Concord. Medford lies over the vessel at the left 
hand. Charlestown Neck is immediately behind the steeple. Cambridge lies at the left, and is not included 
in the picture, which is a spirited and faithful representation of the scene as witnessed from Copp's Hill.] 

when the troops reached the brick-kilns they turned to the left and marched 
toward the intrenchinent. Elijah and the men at the fence saw them turn, 
rank after rank, and fired at them, but they were a good distance away, 
and the balls fell short and the ranks pressed on. Dodifer and the few^ 
soldiers in the fort fired as fast as they could, but their powder was gone, 
for they had only a gill at the outset. The British came nearer. Dodifer 
heard a hurra behind him, and saw them leaping over the parapet at the 
north-east corner. He had no bayonet, nor had many of those by his side. 
Some used the butts of their guns to beat out the brains of the British, but 
they were quickly shot or bayoneted. He saw Dr. Warren in the thickest 
of the fight. A Bi'itish soldier was aiming at him, and the next moment 
the noble man fell. 

" Eetreat !" said Colonel Prescott. 

The British had already cut off Dodifer's escape toward the north-east. 
He ran to the west side, leaped over the embankment almost into the faces 
of the British that w^ere coming up on that side. A red-coat stabbed at 
him, but did not hit him. Bullets whizzed past him. One soldier fired in 
his face. The smoke covered him, and the grains of powder from the gun 
made his cheeks smart, but the bullet did not touch him. He escaped past 

54 THE BOYS OF 76. 

the advancing line. He was going to throw away his gun, that he might 
run faster, but concluded he \\iould not. He reached a rail-fence, sprung 
over it, and fell upon the other side. The bullets came against the rails 
like hail-stones in a shower. He was out of breath, and concluded to lie 
still a moment. 

"We've stiffened that young Yankee," said a British soldier: 

"They think that they have hit me," said Dodifer to himself. He 
heard the tramp of those who were fleeing, and the shouts and hurras of 
the British. He recovered his breath and started once more. The balls 
flew around him, but in a minute he was so far away that he dropped into 
a walk. 

Colonel Stark, Colonel Reed, and Colonel Knowlton were coming up 
from the fence. Dodifer saw Elijah and Esek carrying a wounded soldier. 
Getting nearer, he saw that it was Nicholas — a ball had gone through his 
foot. He helped them, and together they went to Bunker Hill. General 
Putnam was there, riding to and fro, shouting and swearing. 

" Stop here, you cowards ! We can beat 'em here !" he cried. He was 
wet with sweat and covered with dust. 

The soldiers would not stop, and as the boys went down, the hill toward 
the " Xeck," they could hear him still shouting, " Stop here ! we can lick 
'em here !" 

The ships were firing faster than ever across the " Neck." Just in ad- 
vance of the boys was Major Maclary, the brave man who had opened the 
way for the regiment in the morning. They saw him fall, struck by a 
grape-shot. He lived only a few minutes. The shot flew all around them, 
but they got across the " Keck " safely, and carried Nicholas into a house 
where a surgeon had set tip his hospital. 

It was sunset when they reached the high ground on Plowed Hill. 
They were tired and hungry. They had no tents, but kindled fires in the 
field and cooked their supper, and through the evening talked over the 
events of the day. 

They were sorry to learn that one hundred and forty of their number 
had been killed, and two hundred and seventy-one wounded. But the loss 
of the British was terrible — two hundred and twenty-six killed, and eighty 
hundred and twenty-eight wounded. ^ ^ ^^^_ 

The old soldiers lighted their pipes, threw ^emselves upon the gr^s7 
and told stories of the days when they fought the French and Indians. 
Connecticut soldier told about General Putnam's exploits. 

"He has smelled gunpowder before," he said. "He is as brave as*a^' 
lion. I never heard him swear, though, before to-day; he is a member of 



the church, but it made him mad to see the retreat, when we had i water 
beaten the British. I was with^ Old Put at Fort Edward in '55. s^'as 
hot day in August, he and Captain Robert Rogers, of the New Hauipshirl 

bunkp:r hill after the battle. 

[This picture was drawn by a British engineer a few days after the battle. The view is from the north 
side of the hill, looking south from the spot occupied by the New Ham.pshire troops, under Colonel Stark and 
Colonel Reed. Portions of the rail-fence are to be seen. The Connecticiit troops, under Colonel Knowlton, 
occupied the ground between the tree in the centre of the view and the fort. The ground between the tree 
and the fort, and toward the left of the picture, was thickly strewed with the killed and wounded British sol- 
diers. The Americans retreated past the trees at the right of the picture.] 

Rangers, and a dozen of ns took a tramp to see what the French and red- 
skins were doing at Crown Point. We got close np to the fort. Rogers 
and Put crept np under the walls and made what discoveries they could, 
but stumbled upon two French soldiers. One of the Frenchmen seized 
Rogers's gun, and the other was about tO' stab him, when Put up with his 
gun and split the fellow's head open. The other Frenchman took to his 
heels, and gave an alarm ; and the whole garrison, French and Indians, 
several hundred, swarmed out like so many hornets when you give the nest 
a stirring-np ; but we all got back safe and sound. 

" The next year, in '57, we were at Fort Edward. One day a party of 
wood - choppers and a guard of fifty British soldiers were surprised by a 
legion of Indians. The captain of the guard sent to the fort for help. 
General Lyman was commander, but was afraid to send out any troops. 
Old Put boiled over at %hat, and started npon the run with the Rangers. 
.Lyman called to him to stop; but Put was deaf just then, and we rushed 
into the woods yelling like so many devils. We poured a volley into the 
Indians and drove them. 




" I was there with Putnam all the next winter," the old soldier went on 
to say, " and one morning the barracks took fire. We rushed out with our 
camp-kettles, formed a line down to the river, and passed the kettles from 


hand to hand to Putnam, who climbed upon the roof and dashed the water 
on the fire, which was close to the magazine, where all our powder was 
stored. A single spark lighting on the powder would have sent him and 
all the rest of us skj-high quicker than you can say Jack Kobinson. 

" Colonel Haviland was our colonel, and he ordered the captain to get 
down, but Putnam refused, and kept throwing water till the fire was put 
out. His hands and face were badly blistered, and it was a month before 
he got out of the hospital. 

" The next summer we had a nice scrimmage with ^ve hundred French 
and Indians under Molong. Putnam, and sixty of us soldiers, were order- 
ed to go to Lake Champlain to see what the French and red-skins were up 
to. We built a stone wall on the shore of the lake for a breastwork, 
planted a lot of pines and hemlocks in front of it, so that from the lake 
you never would have mistrusted that a wall had been built there. We 
were as still as mice. The canoes came, got abreast of us, when one of 
the Rangers hit his gun against a stone. Quick as a flash the Indians 
stopped paddling. 

" ^ Let 'em have it !' shouted Old Put, and we sent a lot of red-skins 
heels over head into the lake. But we were only a handful, as they could 
see by our firing, and the French captain landed to cut us off. We saw 
what he was up to, and got ahead of him, and all hands returned without 
a scratch. 

"A few days later we were out on a scout, and the French and In- 
dians, under Molong, ambushed us. We sprung behind trees and fought 
like tigers. Putnam shot four Indians and aimed at another, but his 
gun missed fire, and, before he could ^x the flint, the Indians sprung 
upon him, and seized his gun. They had surrounded us, and we had to 

" The Indians had a special spite against Putnam because he had killed 
so many of 'em ; so at night, when we halted, they tied him to a tree, got a 
lot of wood, heaped it around him, and werfe going to burn him at the 
stake ; but it was raining hard, and put the fire out. They kindled it 
again ; but the French captain, Molong, found out what the red-skins were 
about, rushed up, kicked away the brands, and took him to his own tent, 
and so saved his life. 

"The next year General Amherst sent Putnam up to Oswegatchie 
(Ogdensburg), and he captured a lot of French and Indians. He was 
with Wolfe at Quebec. In '62 he fought the Spaniards in Cuba ; and in 
'64, when that red-skin Pontiac got up his conspiracy, Putnam command- 
•ed the Provincials that were sent away up the lakes to Detroit. I guess 




there ain't a man in America who has seen mora,fighting than 
He has had lots of hair-breadth escapes. He is as generous as he i 
He drove a flock of sheep to Boston last summer when the peo] 
almost starving after the port was shut up. He had a square tj 



.^>. ^ 


General Gage and Lord Percy. He is well acquainted with them, for all 

three were together in Canada. Gage laughed at the idea of our fighting. 

"'Why, with five thousand troops I can march from Massachusetts to 

Georgia,' said he. 



" ' So you can/ says Putnam, ^ if you behave yourself, and pay for wliat 
you eat; but if you attempt to do it in a hostile manner, the women will 
give you a drubbing with their skimmers.' 

" W^tnam has a farm in Connecticut, and keeps a tavern. He has a 
picture of General Wolfe on the sign. When 
the news came of the battle of Lexington, he 
was- plowing. He unharnessed his team, left 
the plow in the furrow, mounted his horse, and, 
without stopping to change his clothes, start- 
ed. " If there is any fighting to be done, he 
is always 'round." 

The old soldier had finished his pipe, and 
now threw himself on the ground on the lee- 
ward side of the fire. 

" The smoke will blow in your face," said 

" That won't hurt me ; but let me tell you a 
thing worth knowing, my boy," said the soldier. "Always sleep on the 
leeward side of the fire. True, you will get the smoke, but the heat will 
dry up the dampness and keep you from having the rheumatiz. If you 
don't want your bones to ache by- and- by, sleep on the side where the 
smoke blows." 

The boys saw the philosophy of it, and lay down by his side, and so 
spent their first night after a battle. 






NOW came hard work with the spade and shovel. While some of the 
soldiers kept guard, others threw up intrenchments, till from Y/inter 
Hill, where Colonel Stark's regiment was stationed, around to Dorchester, 
were fortifications, completely shutting the British army in Boston. 

There came an important day — the 3d of July. Congress had appoint- 
ed General George Washington 
commander-in-chief, and he had 
arrived at General Ward's head- 
quarters in Cambridge. The 
boys had heard of him — that 
he had been a surveyor, and 
had accompanied General Brad- 
dock in his disastrous campaign 
against Fort Du Quesne, and 
had shown himself to be a brave 
and able commander. 

On the morning of the 3d 
of July, the regiment paraded 
and marched to the colleges in 
Cambridge, and were drawn up 
in brigades on the Common. 
They saw a noble-looking man, 
accompanied by General Put- 
nam, General Ward, and nearly 
all the generals in the army, 
ride out from General Ward's head - quarters. The cavalcade drew up 
under a great elm. 

The regiments presented arms, the drums beat a salute. General Wash- 
ington raised his cocked hat, and then, replacing it on his head, drew his 
sword, and rode along the lines. He was in the prime of life. He wore 




^= — ^— . "^W 








a blue coat with buff trimmings, buff breeches, and high top-boots, an 
epaulet on each shoulder, and a black cockade on his hat. He sat splen- 
didly on his horse. There were decision and energy in all his movements. 
He was reputed to be rich, and owner of a great estate on the banks of the 
Potomac ; but he had left all to take command of the army. The soldiers 
regarded him with great respect, and his coming gave them renewed con- 

A strict guard was kept everywhere, and the British troops in Boston 
soon found themselves in want of fresh provisions. The}^ could get no veg- 
etables, nor fresh meat. Somebody in the American camp got np a hand- 
bill and printed it. Elijah took a copy when he went out on picket at 
Charlestown Neck. He was so close to the British sentinel, that they could 
talk with one another. Elijah rolled the handbill round a stone, and threw 
it at the British soldier, who picked it up, and this is what he read : 


American Army. 

1. Seven dollars a month. 

2. Fresh provisions in plenty. 

3. Health. 

4. Freedom, ease, affluence, and a good farm. 

English Army. 

1. Three-pence a day. 

2. Rotten salt pork. 

3. The scurvy. 

4. Slavery, beggary, and want. 

The red-coat put it into his pocket ; but the next night a deserter ,~;r-c 
over to the Americans-^the next night another ; and so many cainf: tbat. 
General Howe was much perplexed, and shot several who tried to esc ■ pe. 

In September, volunteers were called for to go on a secret expeilition 
through the woods of Maine to capture Quebec. Dodifer joined tlie e : 
pedition, and bid good-bye to Elijah and Esek. Where he went, and v ; at 
he saw, w^ill be narrated in the next chapter. 

EUjah, Esek, and Nicholas remained with the army digging trei 
standing as sentinels, or acting as guards at Washington's head-quart .>■• ui 

There was a scarcity of arms in the American ranks around Bosto: . ; 
there came a day of great rejoicing, for an American vessel, the 
Lee^ commanded by Captain Mosely, captured the English brig 
Nancy ^ and took it into Marblehead, with two thousand mus- - - 
kets, one hundred ^thousand flints, thirty thousand cannon -shot^ /'^ ' 
thirty tons of musket -balls, and one thirteen- inch mortar. 
The Essex County farmers turned out with their oxen, and 
di-ew the ammunition into camp. When the long 
line of teams wound over the Medford marshes and 
reached Cambridge, the soldiers cheered till _ 
they were hoarse. 

Elijah and Esek 
worked with levers 
and crow-bars, helping- 
place the mortar be- 
hind one of the in- 
trenchments. When 
they got it in posi- 
tion. General Put- 
nam, in his enthu- 
siasm, mounted it, 
with a bottle of rum, 


and drank to its new 

name, " The Congress," and soon sent a shell w^hizzino^ throuo^h the air 



Gil a foggy morniDg in December, 1775, Elijah and Esek were sent 
witli other soldiers to a little round hill called "Cobble Hill," almost 
dc' n to the edge of the water, to throw up an intrenchment. There was 
i ish war-ship at anchor only a short distance away, but the fog was 

tpj 3k that they worked all the forenoon without being discovered. At 



tie fog lifted, and then the ship's cannon began to thunder, and the 
'Is came so thick tha.t thp.v had to nnit In the nie^ht thev went back 

V Ah .^;::.r:< " :ui*:^)omider. Ac soon 

ar it .rti; ligii" '*s' '^:-''-'5ted the canBOT'.. 

and Mi! a l)C-'^: , lito the side o. 


the vessel, and followed it up till the captain raised his anchor, hoisted his 
sails, and made all haste to get away> The soldiers shouted so loud that 
the British on Bunker Hill heard the harra, and began to let their cannon 
roar in reply. They wasted a great deal of powder, doing no harm to any 

General Washington established strict discipline, and looked carefully 
after the health of the army. Provisions were plenty. This is what 
Elijah and Esek had served to them during a week : 

MEATS, '^ 

Corned beef or pork, half a pound per day, four days in a week. ^ ^ 

Fresh beef two days. W^ 

Salt fish one day. 


One pound of flour per day. ^y 

Three pints of pease or beans during the week. 
Half a pint of rice once a week. 


Potatoes, onions, cabbages, turnips, butter, molasses, and a quart of spruce -beer every day, 
with now and then ^ glass of grog. 

The determination of the Americans to resist the aggressions of the 
king and his ministers was not confined to I^ew England, but extended- to 
all the colonies. It was a common cause, and the people of Virginia and 
the Carolinas were just as ready to take up ai'ms in defense of their rights 
as the people of Massachusetts. 

One day there came marching into camp a regiment from Virginia, 
from the beautiful valley of the Shenandoah. It was commanded by 
Daniel Morgan. The men wore frocks trimmed with fur, and fur caps 
ornamented with buck-tails. On their breasts were the words uttered by 
Patrick Henry in the House of Burgesses in Virginia, " Liberty or Death !" 
They were armed with rifles, and had marched all the weary way from 
beyond the Potomac, to have a hand in driving the British out of Boston. 

General Washington was riding out to inspect the intrenchments, and 
met the brave riflemen. General Moro^an saluted the commander-in-chief. 

" From tiie right bank of the Potomac, general !" 

From the Potomac ! Then they were old neighbors. He must shake 
hands with them ^ and the commander-in-chief dismounts, goes along the 
line, and, with tears upon his cheeks, shakes hands with the hardy hunts- 
men of the Shenandoah, who have shown such devotion to their country. 

The 1st of January, 1776, ¥'as an eventful day. The regiments were 



"from the kight bank of the fotomac, general 1" 

paraded to receive the new flags which Congress had agreed upon. Up to 
this time some of the regiments had carried the pine-tree flag ; other regi- 
ments, those from Connecticut, with flags bearing this motto, " Qui trans- 
tidit sustinet^'' ("God, who hath transported, will sustain"); but now the 
regiments were to fight under a common flag. The drums beat a salute, 
the soldiers presented arms, and the flags were unfurled — each flag with 
thirteen stripes, blue and white, and thirteen white stars on a fleld of blue. 
Thirteen guns were fired, and the regiments marched back to their camps 
with the flags waving above them. 

Just about the time the flasks were received, the sentinels at Charlestown 
Neck saw a British ofiicer coming down to the picket-line with a flag of 
truce. An ofiicer went to meet him, to see what he wanted, and found that 
he had a proclamation which had just been received from England, sent 
over by the king. The king said that the Americans had turned rebels, 
and were carrying on a war for the purpose of establishing an independent 
empire, and that tlie British nation would never give np the colonies. He 
had enlisted thousands of soldiers, and was rip'^otiating with the Prince of 
Hesse, in Germany, for a large numb js to aid in putting down 

the rebellion. 




If the American soldiers would lay down their arms and go home, he 
would not punish them ; but if not, they must take the consequences. 

The proclamation was read in camp, and the soldiers laughed at it ; 
they swung their hats, and cheered louder than ever. Lay down their 
arms ! Not they. 

Henry Knox, the young book-seller, whose store was on Cornhill, a stout, 
thick- set man, was placed in command of all the artillery. He went to 

Ticonderoga, where there were many can- 
nons, engaged ox-teams, and one day in Feb- 
ruary the army saw forty -two sleds drawn 
by oxen come into camp, loaded with can- 
non and powder and balls. "Now we will 
drive the red-coats out of Boston," said the 
soldiers. They went to work with a will, 
and soon had forty -nine cannon and six 
mortars in position to send shells and solid 
shot across the water into the town. One 
ball struck Brattle - street Church, and im- 
bedded itself in the wall. On the night of 
the 3d of March the cannon and mortars were thundering from sunset 
till sunrise. One shot went into the British guard-house, and wounded six 
men. Yery little sleep in Boston that night. 

Elijah did not know, nor did any one in the army know, that behind 
all this cannonading General Washington had a grand plan. 

The next night, the cannon began to roar again. As soon as it was 
dark, the soldiers in Roxbury under General Thomas were paraded — two 
thousand in number. 

" You are to march in silence. No talking allowed," said the officers. 
The regiments came out from their camps into the road leading to 
Dorchester Neck, and found a long line of carts, drawn by oxen and 
liorses — three hundred carts in all. In the carts were gabions — great 
baskets which had been made in Dorchester in an alder swamp. Some 
were loaded with picks and spades. The teamsters had wound wisps of 
hay around the felloes, so that the wheels would make no noise. 

The troops marched down the road across the marsh, followed by the 
carts. The teamsters were not allowed to speak to their teams, but in 
silence all moved on. The moon was shining brightly, but all the while 
the cannon were flashing and thundering, sending shot and shells into the 

The soldiers crossed the lowlands and came to the hills on Dorchester 



Xeck, overlooking the harbor. They marched up the steep ascent on the 
south-west side, reached thQ top, seized the gabions, placed them on the 
ground, filled them with earth, and soon had a line of strong intrench- 
ments. Besides gabions, the carts contained a large number of barrels. 
These the soldiers filled with stones, and laid them in position, so that by 
pulling away the trigs they would go rolling down the steep hill. If the 
British attempted to march up the hill, they would be crushed to death by 
the barrels. 

'^ s„t_. 


General Howe, in Boston, listening to the cannonade, never mistrusted 
what was going on over on the hills of Dorchester Xeck. 

Admiral Shuldham, commanding the fleet down in the harbor, never 
dreamed that the Yankees were getting ready to send a plunging fire 
down upon his decks. The sailors on the watch and pacing the deck of 
the Glasgow, frigate, and calling out "All is well," through the night, did 
not even catch a glimpse of the swarm of men on the hills, close at hand, 
till daylight streaked the east. They opened their eyes wide, and inform- 
ed the admiral of what was going on. The admiral came up from his 
cabin and opened his eyes very wide, and sent a boat off in all "•"' to Bos- 
ton with a message to General Howe, that if the Yankees 
from the hill, they would soon be able to drive the fleet 

There was a sudden stir that morning in Boston, 
furiously through the streets, and orders were giver 

i.oidri -en 

-> riding 
.rmy to 



be ready. Boats were collected, and General Howe intended to start from 
Long Wharf and land his troops on Dorchester Neck, and march up the 
liill; or get in i-ear of it, and cut off the retreat of the Americans, and so 
defeat them. General Washington was as wide awake as General Howe. 
He sent more troops, and had the whole army ready to march at a mo- 
ment's notice. A high wind arose. The waves rolled in from the sea. 
General Howe could not embark his troops, and before the waves calmed 
the Americans were so strongly intrenched that he saw the only thing for 
him to do was to get out of Boston. 

On Sunday morning, the ITtli of Marcli, the British troops went on 
board their ships, with a large number of the citizens who adhered to the 
cause of the kino;. It was a sad day to them — to leave their comfortable 
Jioiiies and sail away, never again to set foot in these streets. As the Brit- 
ish troops went down the harbor, the Americans marched into the town over 
the ]?Teck. Elijah noticed tliat the fortifications which General Howe had 
erected were very strong. General Howe sailed for Halifax, and General 


Washington took* possession of the town. The people w^ho remained wel- 
comed him as a deliverer. A hard time they had had — cooped up for 
eleven months with thirteen thousand soldiers, and nothing to eat except 
salt beef and fish — no milk, no fresh meat or vegetables. The only thing 
that they could have in abundance was rum, and that they could get at 
three-pence a quart ! 

Once, in the month of August, General Gage sent some sln'ps around 
Cape Cod to Connecticut with soldiers, who landed and stole a few flocks 
of sheep and some cattle, so that the army and the citizens had a taste of 
fresh meat. A few months later, a ship came from London bringing a file 
of newspapers. One paper. The London CJirSnicle, contained- some hnes 
ridiculing General Gage's operations : 

"In days of yore, the British troops 
Have taken warlike kings in battle. 
But now, alas ! the valor droops, 

For Gage takes naught but harmless cattle. 

"Britons, with grief yoiu- bosoms strike; 
Your faded laurels loudly M-eep ! 
Behold your heroes, Quixote-like. 
Driving a timid flock of shee]) I" 



General Howe had torn down several hundred houses, and used the 
lumber for fuel. The Old South Meeting-house w^as used for a riding- 
school. One of the officers had taken Deacon Wheelock's pew, and used 
it for a pig-pen. The other meeting-houses had been used for hospitals, 
and the city was in a sad plight. 

To pass the time away, the British officers opened a theatre in Faneuil 
Hall, and brought out a play during the winter, written by General Bui-- 
goyne, entitled " The Blockade of Boston." 

On the evening when it was to be enacted. General Howe and all the 
officers were there to see it. It happened that on the same evening Gen- 
eral Putnam sent two companies of soldiers, about two hundred in all, to 
burn some houses at Charlestowm Neck, in which the British outposts were 
quartered ; and when they attacked the pickets, drove them in, and set the 
houses on fire, the whole British army was alarmed. The play had just 
begun when a soldier rushed upon the stage. 

" The Yankees are attacking Bunker Hill !" he shouted. 

The audience thought it was a part of the play, and cheered his vigor- 
ous acting. 

" I tell you they are attacking Bunker Hill !" 

Just then a cannon was heard. 

" Officers to your commands !" shouted General Howe, and all Imnds 
made haste. It was the end of the play for that night. 





ITN" August, after General Washington took command of the army, a 
-■- committee from Congress, sitting in Philadelphia, reached Cambridge 
to confer with him about sending an expedition secretly to Canada, 
through the woods of Maine, to capture Quebec. General Philip Schuy- 
ler was on Lake Champlain getting ready to capture St. John's and Mon- 
treal. Captain Benedict Arnold, of Connecticut, who started in life as an 
apothecar}^, but who had bought horses in Quebec and knew all about 
the town, believed that if an expedition were sent up the Kennebec 
Kiver to co-operate w^ith an army sent from Lake Champlain, Canada 
might be secm^ed to the colonies. He thought that the French would' 
take up arms against the British. The plan was agreed upon, and Captain 
Arnold was made a colonel and appointed to command the expedition. It 
was a great undertaking to march so far through a wilderness, where 
there were no paths, and of which ver}^ little was known. Only one white 
man had been over the route — Captain Montressor, of the British army. 

There were thirteen companies. Two of the captains were Captain 
Dearborn, who had fought bravely at Bunker HiUf^nd Captain Daniel 
Morgan, from Virginia. There were two lieutenant - colonels ; one was 
Christopher Green, of Rhode Island, and the other Timothy Bigelow, of 
Worcester, Massachusetts. There were about eleven hundred men in all. 

On the 13th of September, Dodifer bade Elijah and Esek good-bye in 
Cambridge, slung his knapsack on his shoulders, and marched to Medford, 
and from there to Maiden. The next night the battalions camped at Bev- 
erly, and the next day, Friday, reached ISTewburyport. 

The good people of that town opened the Presbyterian Meeting-house 
for them to sleep in. On Sunday, Dodifer heard Rev. Mr. Parsons preach. 
After meeting, the troops marched down to the wharves, went on board 
the vessels in waiting, and the fleet, sixteen vessels in all, sailed down the 
river, out into i:he ocean, and steered eastward. On the second morning 
they were hi the Kennebec, and sailed up that river to Mr. Gardner's town, 



where boats were in waiting. Now came hard work. The boats were 
heavy and leaky, and were loaded with provisions — barrels of pork and 
bread and flour. They rowed up the river five miles to Fort Western, and 
from there to Fort Halifax, which stood at the mouth of a small river 
which the Indians called Sebasticook. There the boats were unloaded, 
and every thing carried about eighty rods past some falls. Then the boats 
were drawn up by ropes and reloaded. The river was so rapid that half 
the time Dodifer had to be in the water, lifting the 
boats over the rocks. At night the soldiers built 
arbors, kindled great fires, and dried their clothes, 
but the air was chilling, and they shivered before 

It was harder and colder work the next day, for 
the river was rapid. The boats leaked badly, wet- 
ting their fiour and sugar. The night was so cold 
that their clothes froze, but every body was in good 
spirits. At night the boats had to be unloaded 
again, and the barrels of pork and flour carried up 
a steep ledge, and the boats dragged past Skow- 
hegan Falls, where the river boiled and foamed 

The next day the water was smoother. Seven 

miles brought the expedition to Norridgewock Falls. 

Colonel Arnold had sent oxen and sleds in advance 

to this point, and the soldiers loaded the teams and 

dragged boats and provisions a mile and a quartc' 

The flour was examined, an 

it was found 



deal of 

it was 




rido^ewock it was onlv thirteen miles to Carrvtuiik, or the Devil's Falls. 
where the river leaps over a ledge and falls sixteen feet. The boats wei'e 
unloaded, again. Seven miles beyond the Devil's Falls there was another 
unloading, and every thing was packed on sleds and dragged through the 
woods four miles. The expedition had passed the last settlement ; beyond 
was a pathless wilderness. One of the riflemen shot a moose as large as 
an ox, and the soldiers had a delicious supper. 

Colonel Arnold had so few teams that the soldiers unheaded the pork 
barrels, slung the thick slices of pork on poles, and so helped get the pro- 
visions over the carrying places ; but it was hard work, staggering over the 
hillocks and fallen trees. Again the boats were launched, but could only 
go a short distance before they were again unloaded. There were trout 
in the streams, and Dodifer and the other soldiers caught fine strings of 
them, which they cooked for supper. 

A hard time they had the next day at the seventh carrying place, which 
was across a bog. At times Dodifer found himself sinking in the mire up 
to his knees, while staggering along with pork on his shoulders. 

On October 13th, the army had been a month on its way, and was now 
moving up Dead Eiver, a branch of the Kennebec. The mountains were 
white with snow. Lieutenant-colonel Bigelow thought that perhaps Que- 
bec might be -seen from the top of one of the highest mountains, and 
climbed it. He could see mountains all around, but no shining steeples. 
Quebec was far, far away. The mountain from that day to this has been 
called Mount Bigelow. 

The next day Colonel Arnold sent a man, with two Indians, ahead to 
some of his friends in Quebec, to let them know he was on his way, that 
they might be ready to aid him. It would have been better if he had not 
sent the letter, as we shall see. 

Dodifer's company was in advance of the others, and the next night 
they had a light supper, for the provisions were behind, and there were 
only six pounds of flour- for sixty men. The next day they had no flour, 
and only a small piece of pork. The night set in dark and rainy ; the rain 
poured in torrents, and the river rose suddenly. The banks were low, and 
at midnight they found the water sweeping around them. The drift-wood 
was floating down stream — old logs started by the freshet — and they could 
hear the water roaring louder and louder. They stood still, not knowing 
which way to go. Before daylight the water was up to their knees, but 
they reached dry ground at last. 

On the 23d of October the soldiers came to their eleventh carrying- 
place early in the morning. Getting past that, and going two miles, they 

74 THE BOYS OF '76. 

came to the twelfth ; a half mile beyond that they came to the thirteenth. 
Getting past that, they went seven miles, but the stream was rapid and 
swollen, and filled with drift-wood, and six of their boats were destroyed on 
the rocks, and all their salt washed away. 

Snow had fallen, and the river was full of ice. From morning till night 
Dodifer was wet to the skin. Many times during the day he had to stand 
in the water and lift the boats over the rocks. His shoes were wearing 
out. His feet and legs were black and blue, and his ankle-joints began to 
swell. The last ox had been killed ; he could have no more fresh meat. 
The flour and pork were nearly gone. 

Colonel Arnold decided to send back the sick. Forty-eight men, with 
a sergeant, started. Some of the well men lost heart. Captain Williams 
and Captain Scott, and their men belonging to Major Enos's battalion, de- 
cided to return. The rest of the captains and their men would not turn 
back. It was a tearful parting. 

" I wish you success, but I never shall see you again. You will perish 
in the wilderness," said Captain Williams to those w4io were going on. 

" I am ready to go on and meet whatever fate awaits me; but my offi- 
cers and men will not go," Major Enos replied, the tears upon his cheeks. 

Major Enos and his men turned their faces homeward, and the braver- 
hearted set their boats up stream. The wilderness, hardship, starvation, 
ice, snow, disease, possible failure, imprisonment, and death, were before 
them ; but they would not turn back. 

On the 26th of October the expedition passed three carrying place?. 
The night was very cold. The soldiers had very little supper and less for 
breakfast ; but they pushed on. 

Oh, brave hearts ! What a day is this 28th of October ! In the morn- 
ing they pass a carrying place, come to a pond, and then to the long carry- 
ing place, four miles and a quarter. They are on the dividing line be- 
tween the Atlantic and the St. Lawrence. Weak, staggering under their 
burdens, over bogs, along steep hill -sides, through the dense forest, break- 
ing the ice in the streams with the butts of their guns as they wade through 
them, sinking knee-deep in the mud of the bogs — yet they push on. Eheu- 
matism seizes them. Some are burning up with fever, others shaking with 
ague. But there is no turning back. On they toil. They know not how 
far it is to Sertigan, the place where they can get somp>h^"'^'y to eat. They 
reach a little stream running north leading to Lab 'ic. They have 

passed their last carrying place. Twenty-four tii have dragged 

their boats past the rapidl 

Ko pork to carry now ; the last mouthful gone ; ints of flour to 




each man left. They measure it out, a gill to each in 
the morning, stir it up with water, lay it on the coals, 
bake it a few moments, shoulder their guns, and move 
on. At noon each man has two gills of flour, at night 
one gill. They are so weak that a stick trips them, 
and when they are down in the snow, it takes them a 
long time to get up. 

Dodifer and his company lose their way. There 
is no path. They have a compass, and steer by that 
west-north-west, for Canada lies in that direction. Col- 
onel Arnold, with Captain Hanchet and sixty men, have 
started to make a rapid march to Sertigan — how far it 
is they do not know, but sixty or sevent}^ miles. They 
will hasten back with provisions. OIi, the gnawing 
within ! and the gill of flour makes but a mouthful. 
The last morsel of meat is gone ; but there are the 
hides of the oxen which they had killed, lying in one 
of the boats, which they have dragged four miles 
across the dividing ridge. They have made some of 
the hides up into cartridge-boxes. The skins are mus- 
ty, but perhaps there is nourishment in them. Dodi- 
fer cuts a skin into pieces, boils it in a camp-kettle, and 
makes hide soup. He broils a piece, and tries to chew 
the burned leather. One of the soldiers cooks his moccasins. Another 
has an old pair of moose leather-breeches, which he boils for supper. 

Captain Dearborn has a large I^ewfoundland dog, which is killed and 
eaten, entrails and all. They chew the leather, then scrape away the snow, 
cut a few hemlock boughs with their hatchets, and lie down to sleep, to 
rise before daylight, eat the two mouthf uls of cake and another piece of 
broiled leather, and then stagger on toward Canada. 

There are women in the party. Mrs. Grier, wife of Sergeant Grier, a 
large, athletic woman, has accompanied her husband, to take care of him, 
if he should be sick or wounded. She wades through the streams, carries 
her heavy pack, eats her gill of flour, lies down to sleep in the snow, thus 
helping to secure liberty to the country. Every body treats her with re- 
spect. Mrs. Warner, wife of a soldier, accompanies her husband. The 
soldier is weak and faint, and the wife shoulders his knapsack and trudges 
by his side. He staggers and falls — strength gone, hope gone, courage 
gone. He leans his head against a tree. He is ready to welcome death in 
any form. His wife urges him on, but he can not stand upon his feet. 


76 THE BOYS OF 76. 

Dodifer wonld^ gladly help him, but the expedition can not halt for 
any one. Others have dropped by the Avay, never to rise again. The 
ranks are growing thinner. Dodifer beholds the wife standing with the 
knapsack on her back, the gun on her shoulder, trying to lift her husband 
to his feet. It is the last view. The column moves on, leavino- them 

Joyful news ! Colonel Arnold has reached Sertigan, and a messenger 
has arrived with the information that a party of Frenchmen are on their 
way with cattle and flour. 

Hurra ! hurra ! They make the forest ring. Six pints of flour left 
for each man. That will keep them alive till the cattle arrive. They 
launch their boats upon the Chaudi^re. One is smashed in the swift 
stream — another, another, six — every thing on board lost. All their flour 
gone ! God help them now! In the wilderness, and nothing to eat. They 
have dragged their boats across the great divide to no purpose. They must 
march. There is no road ; but on, pickiug their way over rocks and fallen 
trees, eating pine bark, so the seven hundred, like a long line^of shadows, 
move on, ever toward Quebec. 

God be praised! The cattle have come. The French have arrived. 
A bullet is sent through the brain of an ox ; flfty knives gleam in the air. 
Before the flesh has ceased to quiver it is broiling on the coals. Saved ; 
strength returns. The desponding pluck up lieart. They break out into 
singing, and move on. 

While on the march, Dodifer made the acquaintance of a young officer 
(Aaron Burr) who was acting as aid to Colonel Arnold, and who was only 
twenty years old. He was from Pennsylvania ; had left home, and joined 
the army against the wishes of his friends. He was a very agreeable young 
man, and Dodifer set it down that he would be heard from in the future, 
if they ever reached Canada. 

With buoyant hopes the men go on. They do not mind the snow, the 
cold nights, the fording of streams, the hardships, now that they liavu 
something to eat. But they are weak, some have swollen limbs, some are 
afllicted with rheumatism, some are burning up with fever; yet they are 
approaching Sertigan, where the, French have an abundance of provisions. 
The Frencli are delighted to see the Boston men, as they call Colonel Ar- 
nold's party ; but they are shrewd enough to charge higli prices for all 
tliey sell. Refreshed, strengthened, glad to know that they are out of the 
wilderness, the army marches up the Chaudiere, and on the 9th of Novem- 
ber reaches the St. Lawrence. For thirty-two days the seven hundred and 
fifty have struggled in the wilderness. Colonel Arnold is in high spirits. 


=^ . 


-■^==^- — ^ .. 


r^-^. = ~ 

^^^^rm^V^,. , ■ 



H^Bs^-— — 

- ^-b; 

— — -^^-S' -''- ' - 

He sends the voinig lieu- 
tenant, Aaron Burr, with 
two Indians, to Montreal, 
to inform General Mont- 
gomery (who has reached 
that place from Lake 
Champlain) of his arrival. 

It is a snowy morning when the little army marches out from the 
woods and makes its appearance at the little French village at Point Levi, 
opposite Quehec. The sentin 
river and see the line of m' 
Cramahe has heard that A' 
by Arnold to inform the 
and the lientenant-go'^ 
and another war-shi^ 
ons storm is ragir 
with no boats Co' 

Still, there 
dians fnrnis^ 
morning s^' 
spot whr 
have b^ 


the walls of Quebec look across the 

^he alarm. Lieutenant-governor 

le way, for the man who was sent 

J was coming has proved a traitor, 

. all the boats. Tlie frigate Lizard 

their moorings in the river. A f uri- 

cold and raw. There is Quebec ; but 

is brave men might as well be at Boston. 

id, and before night the French and In- 

X birch canoes. Xight comes, and before 

ctle band are landed in Wolfe's Eavine, the 

.anded in '59. The crews of the war -ships 

c in the darkness the canoes have glided back- 

4" the men. Day dawns, and one hundred and 

at Point Levi. 




but did not open the gates. 

General Guy Carleton was at Montre- 
al, and Colonel M'Lane commanded the 
troops in Quebec. He had eighteen hun- 
dred men under arms, not more than five 
hundred of whom could be depended upon. 
The people of Quebec were favorably dis- 
posed toward the Americans, and Colonel 
Arnold expected that the moment he made 
an attack the inhabitants would open the 
gates. The little army climbed the bluff 
and stood upon tlie Plains of Abraham; 
but Arnold had no cannon. The people 
upon the walls gazed at the Americans, 
Arnold saw that he must wait for General 
Montgomery. The next day Dodifer found himself marching away from 
Quebec, up the north bank of the St. Lawrence. The troops marched 
twenty mil6s, and learned that General Carleton had just gone down the 
river with his troops, that he had evacuated Montreal, and that General 
Montgomery was close at hand. 

Joyful news ! Happy day ! Montgomery arrives with provisions and 
clothing, but he has only five hundred .men, and some of those are on the 
sick-list. Together, he and Arnold have less than one thousand effective 
men. Montgomery has brought several cannon, and the troops march 
back to the city. 

The cannon are only small field-pieces, and will be of little account 
against the solid walls, but they drag them through tlie snow. It is hard 
work, and Montgomery's men are as 
weak as those who have toiled through 
the wilderness. The small-pox breaks 
out, and the men begin to die. Mont- 
gomery is commander-in-chief, and re- 
solves to attack the city at once. He 
is a brave man. He was born in Ire- 
land, 1737, and is thirty -eight years 
old. He was with Wolfe in the bat- 
tle on the Plains of Abraham, and 
now he is here upon the same spot to 
wrench the place from the grasp of 
England. Every body loves him. .He 

knows all about the city, and plans richard Montgomery. 






the attack. He decides to leave Major Brown and Major Livingstone 

with two hundred men to make a 
feint from the Plains of Abraham, 
west of the city. Arnold is to attack 
on the north side, while Montgomery 
himself, with the rest of the troops, 
will creep along the narrow cart-path 
under the rocky bluff of Cape Dia- 
mond, and attack on the south side. 

It was a desperate undertaking 
which Montgomery had in hand. The 
stone walls surrounding the city only 
came to the edge of the bluff, but a 
post fence, fifteen feet high, ran down 
the precipice to the river. The posts 
were spiked and bolted together. Be- 
yond the fence was a block-house, fif- 
ty feet square, of solid timber walls, 

with loop-holes for musketry, and four cannons loaded with grape-shot, 

pointing their muzzles to 

sweep the road. Montgom- , ^.-"]Sv^_ry" ^i--' 

ery must saw away the posts, ^ __-^^^*^^*^^^*^r^^^T ^ ^ 

rush up the cart -way, and 

take the block-house. 

It was past midnight, tlie 

last night of the year. Dodifer 

was asleep, wrapped in his blank- 
et. He had made a shelter of 

pine boughs, but the wind whirled 

through it, and was drifting the snow 

over him. He was dreaming of home 

and the warm fireside there. He was 

getting ready to sit down to a nice 

supper, when Captain Dearborn touch 

ed his shoulder. 

•' Fall in, my boy," said the captain. 
He arose, shook the snow from his blank- 
et, wrapped it round him, and shouldered his 

^\\. It was dark, and snowing. The wind 

whirled the snow in drifts. He was near- 




ly frozen. His teeth chattered. He had no overcoat or mittens, but took 
his place in the hne. He could barely see his comrades, moving like shad- 
ows, through the gloom. 

Montgomery and his men go down the steep bank to the river-side, 
and creep along under the rocky cliff, the w^ind whirling the snow in their 
faces, and the river filled with floating ice sweeping p^^st them. They 
come to the post-fence. Montgomery takes a saw^, and with his own hands 
saws off several of the posts. The British sentinels in the block-house 
look out into the storm, and see the dark forms rushing through the 


" Come on !" It is Montgomery's last command — his last w^ords. 
From loop-hole and port-hole there are blinding flashes. A storm more 
terrible than the whirling snow sweeps through the air. Grape and solid 
shot crash as^ainst the rocks and into the columns of men. Monto^omery 

falls, both of his aids fall, several sol- 
diers fall, pouring out their warm blood 
upon the drifting snow. The soldiers 
flee back to Wolfe's Ravine. 

Dodifer and his comrades mean- 
while are marching through the deep 
snow-drifts to the north side of the city. 
The line is formed in the darkness. 
They rush up a narrow street. Muskets 
flash and cannon blaze before them. He 
sees Colonel Arnold fall, shot through 
the knee. Captain Lamb has a part of 
^Lju^^ uji — ^i^ll his face torn away. Men fall, but the 
IPHEr^ ' ^ |V 1 1 column dues not retreat. The men com- 

posing it have not endured the hardships 
of the wilderness to run at the first fire, 
nor the first disaster. Colonel Arnold is 
carried back to camp, but under their 
captains the men fight on. Dodifer shel- 
ters himself in a door-way, takes aim at 
the flashes on the walls. Bullets whiz past him, or strike into the sides 
of the buildings around him. Sohd shot sweep down the street, but he 
and his comrades brave the blinding snow and the storm of lead and iron. 
For more than an hour they continue the contest. Suddenly a gate opens, 
and the British rush out. Before he is aware of it, their retreat is cut off. 
They mio-ht continue the fidit and die there, but it would be throwing 



awaj their lives. They lay down their guns and give themselves nj. 
One hundred and sixty have been killed or wounded. All their toiling, 
suffering, and privation have ended in failure. Dodifer finds himself at 
day-break locked into a building inside the garrison ; but General Carleton 
is a humane man, and they suffer no cruel treatment at his hands. 

Colonel Arnold, with the few men left, retreated three miles, estab- 
lished a camp, and waited for re-enforcements from Montreal. The small- 
pox raged in the camp. The men had little to eat, and were dishearten- 
ed. It was midwinter, and the snow was deep. General Carleton might 
have captured all of them, but he knew that disease was thinning the 
ranks ; he had nothing to fear from Arnold, and he might as well let time 
do its certain work. 

While lying there, the troops were astonished one morning to see a 
woman come into camp, the wife of private Warner. They had seen their 
comrade sitting by a tree in the wilderness, unable to move on, and his 
wife, with his knapsack on her back and his gun on her shoulder, trying to 
help him to his feet. They had thought of them as dead; but there was the 
brave-hearted woman. She had sat by the side of her Imsband while the 
column passed on. She heard the sound of their retreating footsteps, and 
their voices growing fainter in the distance. She sat there through the 
day, through the night ; sat till to sit longer was to die by his side. He 
still breathed — the fire was feebly burning — might burn a day or two 
longer. Should she go and live, or remain and die. The last kiss was 
given, the last look taken, and then, alone, day after day, she traveled, fol- 
io wino^ the trail, dio-o-ino; roots from beneath the snow, and eatino; them, 
reaching the French settlement at last. 

Spring came. General Wooster, who had been at Montreal during the 
winter, arrived with re-enforcements ; but before he could accomplish any 
thing, some troops arrived from England to re-enforce General Carle^ 
and General Wooster was obliged to retreat. 

Months passed, but there came at length an exchange of prisoners,1 
Dodifer was o-lad to set his face once more toward home. Yet his suffer- 
ings, hardships, and privations had not abated his love for liberty, nor his 
determination to do what he could to secure the liberties of the country. 








ALL of the thirteen colonies had revolted. The people of Charleston, 
South Carolina, were as rebellions as the people of Boston. They 
had seized all the cannon, muskets, and powder they could lay their hands 
on, and had every reason to expect that the king and the ministry would 
strike a blow at them. 

In December, 1775, Lord I^orth, Lord Germain, and Lord Dartmouth, 

, -_ sitting in the king's chamber, in London, decided 

to chastise the people of Charleston. They sent 
word to Governor Dunmore, in Virginia, that an 
expedition would be fitted out for that purpose. 
Governor Dunmore sent word to Governor Eden, 
who was Governor of Maryland, residing at An- 
napolis. The ship with Governor Dunmore's letter 
sailed from Norfolk up the Chesapeake Bay, but 
it so happened that Captain James Barronj com- 
manding an American vessel in the Chesapeake, 
captured the vessel, and the plan of the ministers 
was made known to the inhabitants of Charleston. 
This was in April, 1776. The people of Charles- 
ton were for the most part Whigs; but up in the 
interior of the State the Tories were in the majority. The ministers 
concluded that if Charleston were taken possession of, and the royal 
standard raised, the whole State would once more acknowledge allegiance 
to the king. 

To protect the city. Colonel William Moultrie was directed to build a 
fort on Sullivan's Island, in the harbor. The island is about three miles 
long, but not more than half a mile wide ; and it was believed that a fort 
erected there would prevent the war-ships from coming up to the town. 
There were plenty of palmetto- trees on the island, and a large number of 





negroes were set to work cutting them down, and hauling them to the 
lower end of the island. 

The engineers laid up the logs, one upon another, in two lines, six- 
teen feet apart, with cross -logs binding them firmly together, and filled 
the space between with sand, making 
the wall of the fort sixteen feet high, 
with embrasures for cannon. Thirty- 
one guns were mounted ; nine of them 
were twenty-six-pounders, six were eight- 
een -pounders, the rest smaller. Only 
twenty-two of the thirty-one could be of 
much service. Another work, called 
Fort Johnson, was erected between Sul- 
livan's Island and Charleston; so if a fleet . ^'^'J. 
were to pass Fort Sullivan it would have 
to take the fire of Fort Johnson and its 
twenty guns. 

On the main -land, west of the fort, 
at Haddrell's Point, two batteries ^f 
nine guns were erected to prevent the fleet from getting into a cove, and 
firing at the rear of the fort, where no guns were in position. 

On the 31st of May, the people living on the sea-coast, twenty miles 

north of Charleston, saw a fleet of more than fifty vessels sailing into a 

harbor by Dewee's Island, and dropping anchor. Word was sent to 

_^^-^^ _ Charleston. So, then, the blow which 

^=^1: v^t5^-- : ^'ffl^V had been anticipated was about to be 


General Washington sent General Lee 
to take command of the troops in Charles- 
ton. He arrived on the 3d of June; went 
down and visited the fort; saw that it 
was not finished on the south-west side. He shook his head. 

" The ships will take position out there," he said, pointing to the south- 
west, " and will make it a perfect slaughter-pen. Do you think you can 
defend it. Colonel Moultrie ?" 

" Yes, sir, I think I can." 

Colonel Moultrie was a cool-headed, good-natured man, and had not 
the least doubt of his ability to hold the fort. 

While Lee and Moultrie were talking, the fleet made its appearance off 
the bar. ±- was commanded by Sir Peter Parker. Governor Campbell, 





who had been governor of the State, was on board; also Sir Henrj^ Clinton, 
with three thousand troops. Wind and tide were favorable, and thirtj-six 

of the vessels succeeded in cross- 
ing the bar before the tide ebbed. 
One of the ships, the Prince of 
Piedmont^ loaded with provis- 
ions, got among the breakers and 
was wrecked. 

The next day a boat with a 
white flag came in from the 
fleet, bnt a sentinel down by the 
shore flred at it, doing what he 
had no business to do. The 
J'- boat started back and would not 
^ return, although an officer waved 
/ his handkerchief to call it back. 
Colonel Moultrie sent a boat out 
to Sir Peter Parker with an apol- 
ogy. The sentinel had fired 
without orders, and if another 
flag were to be sent, it would be properly received. Sir Henry Clinton 
and Sir Peter Parker accepted the apology ; and Sir Henry being com- 
mander of the land-forces, and authorized to re-establish the government, 
sent a proclamation to the Committee of Safety, ordering all the subjects 
of the king to lay down their arms and acknowledge his authority. The 
Committee of Safety read it, laid it aside, and went on with their work 
getting the troops ready. 

Although the ships crossed the bar during the flrst week in June, the 
British were so slow in their movements that they were not ready to make 
an attack till the 28th. General Lee and the people of Charleston were 
much obliged to them for waiting so long. Troops from Yirginia and 
North Carolina, as well as those from South Carolina, had time to reach 

Sir Henry landed troops on Long Island, and marched them to its far- 
ther end, opposite the upper part of Sullivan's Island; took all the ship's 
boats up there into a cove, intending to cross to Sullivan's Island, disperse 
the American troops there under Colonel Thompson, and march down and 
attack the fort in the rear, while the fleet attacked in front. Together, the 
army and fleet would make themselves masters of the island. 

Colonel Moultrie had four hundred and thirty-five men. H-^ liad only 


five tlioiisaiid four hundred pounds of powder — enougli for twenty -six 

i-ounds to each cannon ; but he resolved to make it last as long as possible. 

Beautiful the morning of Friday, June 28th. A few liglit, fleecy clouds 

dot the horizon. Colonel Moultrie is riding up toward the north end of the 


island to see the troops under Colonel Thompson, when he discovers that 
the ships are spreading their top-sails and raising their anchors. The tide 
is coming in, the wind favorable, and the ships, one after another, are 
moving up the harbor. Over on Long Island drums are beating, and the 
regiments forming. He gallops back beneath the palmetto -trees to the 

" Beat the long roll !" The drums beat and the soldiers take their places 
beside the guns, seize their rammers- and sponges, and are ready to defend 
the flag floating from the staff at the south-eastern bastion — a blue flag, 
with a crescent moon in the upper corner. 

Sir Peter Parker has a powerful fleet : the Bristol, fifty guns ; Experi- 
ment, fifty guns; Active, twenty-eight guns; Solebay, twenty-eight guns; 
^Ci(oEO?2, twenty -eight guns; Siren, twenty -eight guns; SjMnx, twenty - 
eight guns; ^<2/?^6r, twenty -eight guns; Friendshij), twenty -two guns; 
one bomb-vessel. 




In all, there are two hundred and ninety guns, besides the mortars for 
firing bombs. Proudly the ships sail up the bay — their sails filled, their 
flags waving, the water rippling against their sides. The drums have beat- 
en to arms, and on the decks are 
the sailors, ready to open fire when- 
ever the word is given. 

In Charleston the roofs are cov- 
ered with men, women, and chil- 
dren. They cluster in the belfries 
of the churches, gazing at the fleet, 
hoping that the garrison in the fort 
will be able to defend it, yet, after 
what General Lee has said, fearing 
the worst. 

Half-past ten. The bomb boat 
has dropped anchor more than a 
mile away. There is a puff of 
smoke on her decks. A deep, 
heavy roar rolls up the harbor, and 
a shell thirteen inches in diameter 
rises in the air, leaving a thin white trail to mark its course. Up, up, 
up it rises, sails away, describing a beautiful curve, and falls slowly, then 
faster, and still faster, and strikes upon the magazine at the north-west an- 
gle of the fort. It explodes, whirls up a column of sand, but no one is 

The Active leads the fleet. She swings around the northern end of the 
sandy reef, called the Lower Middle 
Ground; followed by the Bristol^ Ex- 
periw.ent^ and Solebay. They come 
close to the fort. Sir Peter will make 
quick work of it. The fight may be 
sharp, but it shall be decisive. He 
will knock that cob -house affair of 
logs to pieces in a few minutes. 
Down go the anchors, with spring- 
ropes on the cables to keep the ships 
broadside to the fort. He will soon 
have one hundred and fifty cannon 
pouring a continuous fire upon it. 

As the anchors go down, the twenty-six and eighteen pounders open 




fire, and the sliips send back a reply from, all the guns on the starboard 
side. The roar of the cannonade jars the windows in Charleston. The 
sailors on the ships work with a will, determined to send the shot thick 
and fast into the fort, and make it so hot that the rebels will be astounded. 
In a few minutes they will see a white flag hung out, or else the Ameri- 
cans will be fleeing in consternation over the bridge of boats west of the 
fort to the main-land. One hundred and flfty guns are thundering on one 
side, and less than thirty on the other. The fire of the one hundred and 
fifty is concentrated, while the fire of the fort is distributed. Surely it 
can not take the fleet many minutes to silence every gun in the fort. 
Rapid the fire from the ships, slow that of the fort. The shot from the 
ships strike into the palmetto logs ; but the wood is soft and spongy, and 
no splinters fly. Shells from the mortar-boat descend into the area and 
blow np cart-loads of sand, but do little harm. IN'ot so the flre from the 
fort : the twenty-six-ponnd shot crash through the sides of the ships, splin- 
ter the masts, and make terrible havoc on the decks. 

Twelve o'clock. The white flag is not yet flung out. Slowly and 
steadily the tweuty-six-pounders reply to the fire of the fleet. 

" Move down and take position south-west of the fort," is the signal 
which Sir Peter makes to three of the ships. He 
has discovered that the fort is weak on that side. 
Once there, the heavy guns of the fort will not 
reach the ships, and the platform inside the fort, 
on which the guns are mounted, may be raked 
from end to end. But the tide is ebbing, and the 
Actmon, Siren, and Sphinx get aground. The 
Sjjhinx loses her bowsprit, but, with the Siren, the way the guns were 
manages to get into deep water once more, while 

the ActcBon remains flrmly fixed on the shoal. If they had gone in on 
the flood -tide, they would have made it nncomfortable for the men in 
the fort ; but now it is too late. 

The bomb-ship has thrown sixty shells ; but it is too far away, and the 
heavy charges have shattered the bed-plates of the mortars, and the firing- 

While this is going on around the fort, Sir Henry Clinton is embarking 
his troops in boats to cross to the upper end of Sullivan's Island. The 
boats, with field-pieces on board, glide over the water, and approach the 
island; but Colonel Thompson is ready for them. He opens with his 
eighteen-pounders, and they pull back to Long Island. Sir Henry sees 
that he can not hope to get a foothold till the ships have silenced the fort. 

88 THE BOYS OF 76. 

Sir Peter' Parker and Governor Campbell are on board the Bridal, 
directly in front of tbe fort. 

" Take good aim. Mind the big ships, and don't waste yom- powder," 
is Colonel Moultrie's order, as he passes from gun to gun ; and the twentj- 
six-pounders, aimed accurately and fired deliberately, make fearful havoc 
on the Bristol. Men go down in groups, torn and mangled by the shot 
and splinters'. A shot cuts the spring-rope of the Bristol, the ship swings 
with the tide, and the cannon-balls sweep the deck from end to end. 

" Give it to her ! IS'ow is the time ! She can't bring a gun to bear !" 
is the cry in the fort. But the ship swings back again, and the fight 
goes on. 

"Fire once in ten minutes!" Colonel Moultrie is obliged to issue the 
order, for there are only a few cartridges left. 

" When your powder is gone, spike your guns, and retreat," is General 
Lee's order, brought by Major Boyd. Colonel Moultrie has no thought of 
I'etreating. Oh for more powder ! The cartridges are almost gone. 

" Stop firing !" 

Colonel Moultrie will wait a while. Perhaps the ships will try to get 
nearer ; and then, with the few remaining cartridges, he will bore them 
throuo^h and throuo^h. 

" The rebels have done firing," says a sailor on the Bristol to liis com- 

" Glad am I, for we have had a terrible drubbing," the comrade re- 

But the rebels are not done firing. 

" I send you ^\q hundred pounds of powder," is the note which a mes- 
senojer brino-s from Governor Rutledo-e. "Don't make too free use of 
your cannon ; keep cool, and do mischief." 

Oh yes. Colonel Moultrie will keep cool ; but he will let Sir Peter 
Parker know that they are still alive inside the fort, and the cannon thun- 
der once more. 

So the rebels are at it again ! Sir Peter will see 
about it, and the ships pour all together their broadsides 
upon the little fortress, which shakes beneath the shock. 
A ball enters an embrasure, and strikes down nearly 
every man at a gun ; another ball chips a great piece 
from the muzzle of an eio^hteen-pounder : another cuts 

THE FLAG. ^ -^ . . 

the flasr-staff, and. the blue banner, with its crescent moon, 
falls into the ditch outside the fort. There are sad hearts in Charleston 
now. So the fort has surrendered ! Xot yet. 



Out from an embrasure leaps Sergeant Jasper — out where the cannon- 
balls are %ing. He picks np the flag, ties it to the rammer of a cannon, 
mounts the parapet, and plants it on the bastion. The balls are whirling 
past him ; thej strike around him ; but not till it is firmly planted will he 
stir from the spot. 

Oh, Sergeant Jasper ! unknown by the world till now, this act of 
A'ours shall send vour name down to the advancine: ao;es ! 


Surrendered ! No. The cannon still are flaming, and the thousands 
on the roofs in Charleston take heart once more. 

The sun goes down. The cannon still are roaring. Through the 
evening those who still gaze seaward from the steeples see the flashes, and 
hear the roar of battle. 

Eleven o'clock. The tide is flooding the marshes, and on the incoming 
flood the ships slip their cables and creep away. Terrible the scene on the 
Bristol. The decks are slippery with blood. There are mangled corpses 
lying amidst the dismantled cannon. The cockpit is crowded with wound- 
ed. There are great rents in the sides of the ship, and the carpenters 
are at w^ork plugging the holes. The mizzen mast is gone, the mainmast 
shattered, the rigging cut to pieces, the sails rent. The captain has lost 
his left arm. A cannon-ball has carried away the seat of Sir Peter's 
breeches, and a splinter has wounded him in the thigh. Forty of the crew 
have been killed, and l 3venty-one wounded. The Experiment is almost as 

90 THE BOYS OF 76. 

badlj damaged. The decks are crimsoned with the blood of more than 
eighty killed and wounded. The Actceon is still aground. Two hundred 
and twenty-five in all have been killed or maimed, while in the fort ten 
only have been killed, and twenty -two Avounded. IS^oble the death of 
Sergeant M'Daniel. 

" Fight on, boys ! Don't let liberty die with me 1" were his last words. 

The mofoing dawns. The Actceon is still firmly fixed on the sand- 
bar. The crew have been stripping her during the night. They fire a 
few guns, set the ship on fire, and take to their boats. Out go Jacob 
Mulligan and a party in three boats. They climb the sides of the burning 
ship, aim the guns at the fieet, and fire them once more, seize the bell and 
the fiag, which the crew left flying, and hasten away. The fiames reach 
the magazine, and the Actceon goes up into the air, masts, spars, planks, 
knees, braces, cannon — all in a sulphurous, flaming cloud, to rain down, a 
mass of ruins, into the sea. Charleston shakes beneath the explosion, 
and those who look seaward behold a great cloud like a huge umbrella 
hanging over the harbor, while beneath it, floating serenely in the morning 
air, is the blue banner, with its crescent moon, still waving where Sergeant 
Jasper planted it. 

Baffled and defeated, Sir Peter Parker and Sir Henry Clinton re-em- 
bark their troops, and sail away to New York ; and for two years the peo- 
ple of Charleston have rest from war. 




T"N" January, while General Washington was waiting at Cambridge for 
-■- General Knox to arrive with the cannon from Ticonderoga, his 
thoughts were turned to New York. He learned that Sir Henry Clinton 
was to be sent somewhere with a portion of the fleet. Where but to Kew 
York would he go ? E"ew York was the largest town in America, with 
twenty thousand inhabitants. It was a central point, and had a good har- 
bor. By taking possession of it, the war-ships could go up the Hudson 
and cut off communication between New England and the other colonies. 
There were a great many Tories in New York, on Long Island, and in 
New Jersey. The moment the British arrived, they would side with the 

Something must be done, and that quickly, to prevent the British 
from getting possession. He would send a man who would act with en- 
ergy. General Charles Lee. He was an old soldier — a Welshman, who 
was commissioned ensign by George 11. when he was a boy. He had 
fought in Europe, was well educated, could speak all the languages of 
Europe, and the Mohawk besides ; for in '55 he came to America with his 
regiment, and was stationed at " Schenectada," as he wrote to his sister. 
The Mohawks liked him, and chose him to be one of their chiefs, and 
called him Boiling Water. ^'He was with young Lord Howe at Ticonde-. 
roga, and was well acquainted with General Howe. 

General Washington had no troops to spare ; but Governor Trumbull, 
in Connecticut, was ready to aid in the matter, and the Connecticut patri- 
ots were ready to place themselves under General Lee. 

The New York Committee of Safety heard that General Lee was on 
his way with twelve hundred troops. The Committee of Safety were a 
timid set of men. They were afraid it would be impolitic to take militarj^ 
possession of New York. They had sent to the West Indies for powder, 
and if General Lee were to take possession of the town, the Asia, a sixty- 
four-gun ship, and i:he Duchess of Gordon, a smaller vessel in the harbor, 




might fire on the vessels when they arrived. They requested General Lee 
to remain in Connecticut a little while. 

But General Lee had no time to wait. Sir Henry Clinton had sailed 
for Boston, and the Connecticut troops started. General Lee was down 
with rheumatism, and could hot ride his horse, nor bear the jolting of a 
carriage, and the soldiers carried him on a litter. He was none too soon, 

for on the very day the troops 
crossed the Harlem Kiver at 
King's Bridge, and entered 
Xew York, Sir Henry Clin- 
ton, with several ships, was 
sailing up the harbor. ' ^ 

The Committee of Safety 
in New York were in great 
trepidation. Between General Lee on the one hand, and General Clinton 
on the other, they feared the town would be destroyed : they hoped Gen- 
eral Lee would not do any thing to provoke the British. " Boiling Water " 
boiled over at tha|^ 

" H the ships of war are quiet," he said, " I shall be quiet ; but I de- 
clare solemnly 4hat if they make a pretext of ray presence to fire on the 
town, the first house set in flames by the guns shall be the funeral pile of 
some of their best friends." 

That frightened the Tories, who hastened to see Genei'al Clinton. 
They were glad to hear from him that he did not intend to atta,ck the 
town, and they were glad to see the ships sail away southward a day or 
two later. 

Whither Sir Henry had gone was soon understood from the letter 
which Captain James Barron captured in the Chesajpeake. The fleet was 
on its way to Charleston, and General Washington sent General Lee to 
meet Sir Henry there. We have already se^n liow Sir Peter Parker was 
defeated at Fort Sullivan, and how Sir Henry Clinton accomplished 

As soon as General Howe sailed from Boston for Halifax, General 
Washington sent a portion of the army to New York, for he very well 
knew that the British felt humiliated, and that neither Gen-^ral Howe, nor 

the king, the minister, nor the people of England would 
after being driven out of Boston. 

Soon word came that the king had hired thousa' 
Landgrave of Hesse to aid in putting down the A^ 
fleets were fitting out in England, and that by r 

wn quietl}^ 

jrs of the 

that great 

great blow 



would be struck somewhere, and in 
all probability at New York. 

While Dodifer was making his 
way home from Canada, and while 
Nicholas was waiting for his wound 
to heal, Elijah and Esek were march- 
ing from Boston to New York. On 
a pleasant afternoon in April, they 
crossed King's Bridge over the Har- 
lem River, marched down the Bos- 
ton road, as it was called, and went 
into camp close by the town. 

On the 29tli of June, General 
Howe, with a great fleet of vessels, 
entered the harbor ; and a few days 
later another fleet arrived from En- 
gland with the Hessians. And, still 
later, a third fleet, uinder Sir Peter 
Parker with Sir. Henry* Clinton, 
arrived from the SouCli. ^ General 
Howe found himself at the head of 
nearly thirty thousand men. On 
the 8th of July he landed nine 
thousand men on Staten Island. 
The British soldiers spread their 
tents on the green slopes of Staten 
Island, washed their clothes in the 
clear running brooks, glad to stretch 
their lesfs on land after a lono; sea- 
voyage. *^' 

The 9th of July came. Impor- 
tant news was brought' by a post 
rider from Philadelphia that Con- 
gress, on the 4th, had signed one of 
the most important papers the world 
had ever seen, declaring the colo- 
nies free and independent of Great 
Britain forever. Elijali's regiment 
was encamped on the " Common," 
the place now occupied by the City 




Hall. During the afternoon the colonel received orders to have his men 
paraded at six o'clock that evening. The hour came, and with it a gen- 
eral beatino^ of drums in all the regiments. The brigade to which his regi- 
ment belonged was drawn lip 
in a hollow square. Gener- 
al Washington, w^hose head- 
quarters were down at Bowling 
Green, came riding up Broad- 
way with his staff. The sol- 
diers presented arms, the guns 
gave a salute, and Washing- 
ton sat upon his horse, while 
one of his aids in a voice so 
loud and clear, that not only 
WASHINGTON'S HEAD-QUAKTERs. tlic soMlcrs, but tho grcat 

crowd of citizens aronnd, could hear read the Declaration of Independ- 
ence. When the reading was finished, the soldiers and people hurraed, 
and the citizens, ,fired up by what they had heard, started off upon the run 
down Broadway toward Bowling Green. 

" Pull it down !" they cried. They ran to the statue of the king on 
horseback, which stood in the centre of the Green, erected in 1770. Some 
of the people ran for a ladder, others for ropes. A man climbed the lad- 
der and fastened the ropes to the statue. 

"Down with it!" they cried; and men and boys and soldiers — every 
body who could get hold of a rope — pulled, and over it went, wath a thud, 
to the ground. It was of lead, and gilded. 

" It will make a lot of bullets," said the people ; and, sure enough, it 
was melted into bullets, which a few days later were fired at the king's 

General Washington saw that General Hdwe probably intended to land 
on Long Island, and several thousand troops were sent across Brooklyn 

Elijah and Dodifer, and the other soldiers, marched .past the Fly Mar- 
ket in Maiden Lane, stepped into the boats, were rowed across the river, 
and landed at the ferry stairs on the Brooklyn side. They climbed the 
stairs and formed in line in front of the ferry tavern, which stood on the 
east side of the i^oad, kept by Captain Waldron, who owned the ferry. 
Captain Waldron was a patriot, ready to fight for his country. Just be- 
yond the tavern was another large stone house, with a beautiful garden 
behind it, owned by John Eapalje, a bitter Tory. 


The troops marched out to the fortifications which General Greene had 
heen erecting. General Greene had constructed a formidable line of in- 
trenchments. Over on the marsh at Wallabout Bay (the present l^avy 
Yard) he dug a ditch, from tide-water to a spring on the edge of the 
marsh, at the junction of Flushing Avenue and Portland Street. From 
tlie spring a line of earth- works was carried to the top of a hill on John 
Cowenhoven's farm, where a strong fort was erected (Washington Park). 
It was named Fort Putnam. 

From the fort the line of intrenchments was carried in a zigzag course 
south, to another small fort (corner of De Kalb Avenue and'Hudson Street), 
and from there across the Jamaica turnpike (Fulton Avenue), to Mr. 
Freeck's mill-pond at the head of Go wan us Creek. 

Inside of this line were several forts. One at Red Hook, one on a 
conical hill, which was called the " Corkscrew " fort, because the trench 
wound around it spirally. 

The troops did not halt in the intrenchments, but marched out the Ja- 
maica turnpike, past a little old Dutch church, and went into camp upon 
the hills. 

One day Elijah went out with a party to get some fresh beef from 
some of the farmers. They w^ere instructed to take the cattle that be- 
longed to the Tories. The party took a road which led down toward the 
Narrows, passing a house where a Tory by the name of Cortelyou lived. 
It was an old stone and brick house. On one end of it Elijah saw the 
figures 1699, the year in which it was built. He passed on to Gravesend 
Bay, and had a good view of the British fleet at anchor. From there he 
turned north-east, and went by a winding road to the hamlet of Flatlands. 
He might have turned north- w^est there and gone to Flatbush, about two 
miles distant, and from thence kept right "on in the same direction by a 
narrow road called Martenses Lane, to their camp ; but instead of that he 
went north-east, and came round through the hills by the Jamaica turn- 
pike, driving in a herd of cattle. 

The last of the British army arrived on the 13th of July, but General 
Howe seemed to be undecided what to do. One day the great fleet sailed 
up the bay, as if General Howe intended to push up the Hudson and land 
north of the city, which he could have done ; but after the fleet had spread 
her sails, making the harbor white with canvas, the vessels dropped back 
to their anchorage. 

On another day two ships sailed up the Hudson, paying no attention 

to tl American cannon in a battery at Red Hook, which opened fire. 

'' hips were two miles away, and no harm was done. The ships went 



up to Haverstraw to land some arms for tlie Tories ; but thej quickly re- 
turned, for the Americans had a lot of fine ships ready to let loose. 


All the while General Howe had his spies in General Washington's 
camp finding out the strength of the army, and liow the fortifications were 

Every day the Americans were making the works stronger. General 
Greene worked so hard that he was taken down with a fever, and General 
Putnam was appointed to the command. 

On the night of the 27th of August, Elijah was out on picket at 
Gravesend Bay. Early in the evening he could hear a commotion on 
ship-board, and on Staten Island. Before sunrise all the drums were beat- 
ing, and bugles were playing. When the sun rose he conld see the sailors 
shaking out the sails of the ships, and raising the anchors. Boats were 
plying here and there. About nine o'clock the whole fleet were nnder 
way, and soon after the bay was covered with boats putting out for Staten 
Island, tilled with troops. There were thirty-seven men-of-war, and more 
than four hundred transport ships, besides the boats. The war-sin' ps stood 
in toward Gravesend Bay, opened their port -holes, ran out 
opened fire, and threw shot and shell on shore.* It was the m 
cent spectacle he had ever seen. 

Colonel Howard was commandino^ the Americans alone 



He sent messengers to General Putnam, with information that the British 
were landing; and as their boats reached the shore he fell back toward 
Brooklyn, with his riflemen and 

General Howe planned so well 
that bj noon he had fifteen thou- 
sand men and forty pieces of can- 
non on shore. 

General Howe commanded in 
person. He was a great favorite 
with the king. He was an affable 
gentleman, but he loved good din- 
ners and good w^ine. He was fond of gambling, and sometimes played 
cards all night. 

Sir Henry Clinton, Earl Percy, Earl Cornwallis, Sir William Erskine, 
and General Grant were with him, all able officers, w^ho had been in bat- 
tle. Earl Percy was the officer who went out from Boston to Lexington 
with re-enforcements, and saved Colonel Smith and Major Pitcairn from 
being cut off by the minute-men. Sir Henry Clinton was the officer who 
had hastened from Copp's Hill to Charlestown, to help Howe at the Battle 
of Bunker Hill. He was smarting^ under the repulse he and Sir Peter 
Parker had met with at Charleston, South Carolina. Cornwallis had seen 
fighting in Europe, and so had Sir William Erskia^ and General Grant. 
The last named officer was a ffreat o^ourmand. He could eat as much as 
two or three ordinary men. He thought so much of his victuals, that he 
used to have his cook sleep in his tent, so that he could tell him in the 
night what to get for breakfast. 

Besides these there was the Hessian General De Heister, a fat old man 
who had been sea-sick all the way over. He was a great smoker, haviiig 
used up all his tobacco long befoi'e the voyage was finished, and was out 
of sorts w^ith himself and every body else. Several days before the fleet 
reached the harbor. Sir George Collier went on board of De Heister's ship 
with a package of tobacco. The old general filled his long-stemmed pipe, ^ 
took a few whiffs, and felt so much better that he set the band to P^^yii^^y,j|H 
and drank several bottles of wine to the health of George HI., the Lar' *' 
grave of Hesse, and the success of the expedition. 

As soon as the British troops landed, they mai'ched to FlatH^ 
Count Donop, with a party of Hessians, took possession of Fl? 
onel Hand, with three hundred Pennsylvania riflemen, were i? 
The riflemen. had heard a great deal about the Hessians — how 


98 THE BOYS OF .76. 

were in battle. They were tall and ferocious-looking with their bushy 
mustaches, which they blacked every niornhig with their boot -blacking. 
They wore tall caps with bright brass plates in front. They plastered 
their hair with tallow mixed with flour, wore it long, braided it into a cue, 
which hung down their backs like a whip-lash. Their uniform was a blue 
coat, yellow vest and breeches, and black gaiters. ^ 

The Grenadiers of Anspach wore towering black caps. The Waldeck- 
ers wore cocked hats edged with yellow scollops. 

Colonel Hand did not believe all that he had heard about the Hes- 
sians. He withdrew into the woods w^itli his riflemen, but took a look 
now and then from behind the trees to see what they were up to, and re- 
solved to give the fellows who blacked their mustaches with a shoe-brush 
a stirring-up. 

The next morning at day-break the riflemen crept down close to the 
village and fired upon the pickets. The Hessian sentinels fired in return, 
the drums beat, and the sleepy soldiers came tumbling out from their tents 
in a hurry. The riflemen began to pick them off; but Count Donop had 
six cannon, which opened fire, and the riflemen were driven. General 
Sullivan sent a cannon down to Colonel Hand, and at noon, while some of 
the Hessian officers were sitting down to dinner in Mr. Axtel's house, Sul- 
livan's artillery fired a shot through it which sent them out-of-doors in a 
hurrj^ Then in the afternoon the riflemen crept up once more and poured 
in volley after volley upon the Hessians, and drove them. The fight be- 
came quite hot. The riflemen, from behind the trees, picked off the Hes- 
sians very fast. The Hessians did not understand such fighting. They 
could see only an enemy here and there, skulking behind a tree or wall. 
Tlie}^ could see flashes, puifs of smoke, and then came the bullets, and 
somebody was sure to be killed or wounded. 

Some of the Hessians ran into Judge Leffert's house, to flre from the 

windows upon the Americans, but Sullivan's artillerj'-men sent solid shot 

through the house. Some of the riflemen crept up and set it on fire, and 

the Hessians had to leave. 

^^Count Donop opened with all his guns, and the battle raged more fierce- 

^ "^^ee houses were burned, besides hay-stacks and barns. 

t day, the 25th, Sullivan's men opened fire again, and harassed 
^:^ceedingly. One British ofiScer was killed, and the rifleman 
Nund his pockets well filled with gold. A Hessian offi^*«" 
\esides several soldiers; but though the Hessians 
\ American was injured, and the riflemen began to 1 
^.re not so terrible after all. 



A little after midnight on the morning of the 26th, the riflemen- made 
another attack, creeping up close to the Hessians before opening fire. The 
Hessians were utterly disgusted with such fighting. ^Vhat was the use in 
fighting at midnight? And who wanted to be routed up from sleep to 
fight an enemy whom they could not see even in the day-time? They 
made such complaint that Cornwalhs sent some British to do picket duty. 

On the afternoon of the 26th, the riflemen attacked again, now vigor- 
ously, their enemy ; and as General Howe was not ready to fight a battle, 
Count Donop v^as ordered to fall back upon the main body, and to Flat- 
lands. The riflemen took.possession of Flatbnsh. General Howe had a 
grand plan and an excellent one, as we shall see. 

The Americans on Long Island numbered about five thousand. Very 
few of the soldiers had ever been in battle. General Howe had an army 
of seventeen thousand of the best troops in the world. 

The right of the American line was commanded by Lord Stirling. 
Colonel Atlee, with about two hundred Pennsylvaniau^, was south of Go- 
wanus Bay, close down to the shore (near Twenty -third Street). Then 
came the Delaware troops under Colonel Hazlet, and the Maryland regi- 
ment under Colonel Sma.llwood. Then three regiments were extended 
east toward Flatbush — in all about eleven hundred men. 

B^"-- ^^T'^ / Scate of M 



100 THE BOYS OF 76. 

Behind Stirling's position toward the ferry was Gow^anus Creek and 
a wide marsh (all the space between Court Street and Fifth Avenue), 
with only one bridga^cross the creek near a mill owned by Mr. Brower. 

General Sullivan colnmanded the left. He liad only four regiments: 
Colonel Williams's, Colonel Parsons's, Colonel Miles's, and Colonel Hand's 
riflemen. Colonel Miles held" the extreme left, and it was supposed that 
he would keep pickets out on the Jamaica road. But the Jamaica pass 
was a good way from him, and no one expected that the British would 
come from that quarter. General Putnam was sure that Howe would at- 
tack in front of Stirling and Sullivan. The Jamaica road was like the 
back door to a house. Stirling and SulUvan were guarding the front 
and side doors, w^hile the back door was left wide open, which was a 
great mistake. 

Such is the position of the American lines on the evening of the 2Cth 
of August. 

Cornwallis has formed his plan. He leaves General Grant, with two 
brigades of British, about two thousand men and ten cannon, in front of 
General Stirling. He leaves De Heister, wdth all the Hessians (eight thou- 
sand), in front of Sullivan, and starts at nine o'clock with Cornwallis, Clin- 
ton, and Percy, for a long night march. He moves east toward Jamaica. 
He has eight thousand men, and a great train of artillery. He leaves his 
tents standing, so that in the morning Sullivan and Stirling, looking through 
the trees, will see" that the British army is still there. He sends out men 
to seize all the inhabitants on hi& line of march, so that no one shall give 
information of his movement. 

At two o'clock in the morning, Cornwallis arrived at Mr. Howard's 
tavern (corner of Broadway and Brooklyn turnpike). The tavern-keeper 
has a son, William, fourteen years old. 

" Can you pilot me to Jamaica pass, my lad ?" Cornwallis asks. Wil- 
liam knows every inch of the ground, and leads Cornwallis across the fields 
and up a narrow path through the hills. Cornwallis is surprised to find 
no Americans in the pass. Before day-break he is through the back door, 
and halts fo^ breakfast. 

Just about the time that Cornwallis started for Howard's tavern, some of 
Colonel Atlee's pickets, down on the sea-shore, by Gowanus Bay, discern 
some British in a melon-patch, and fire upon them. Soon after two hun- 
dred of Grant's men advance upon Colonel Atlee ; but the Pennsylvanians 
drive them back. The volleys of musketry roll over the hills, waking up 
the Americans. 

General Putnam is in the eaddle. He is confident that when the dav 



breaks Howe will attack with his whole force Stirling and Snllivan. Gen- 
eral Washington is at Brooklyn, looking after things there. 

General Stirling forms his line near the Red Lipn tavern, and along 
what is now the western boundary of Greenwood Cemetery. A regiment 
of riflemen, under Colonel Kichline, comes to re-enforce Stirling. Just at 
day-break, while Cornwallis is up at Jamaica Pass, seven miles away, 
eating breakfast, the firing begins. 

General Grant sends forward several regiments to begir the contest. 

He has no intention of pushing things just 
yet. He is only attracting attention, while 
Howe, with Clinton and Percy and Cornwal- 
lis, gets into position. But Stirling orders up 
two cannon, under Captain Carpenter, which 
are put in a favorable position, and the rifle- 
men, from behind trees and fences, make it so 
hot for Grant that he is obliged to fall back, 
and Stirling's men take courage. Little'^So 
they know of what is going on at Jamaica ! 
And now the Hessians, under De Heister, 
march up Martenses Lane, and come into position in front of Sullivan. 

The fleet has weighed anchor, and Admiral Howe is trying to sail up 
the bav to silence the American batteries at Red Hook, and be readv to 

TV ^ 




M.AV ^OilK, 17 70. 

pour a shower of sliot and sliell upon 
the rear of the Americans ; but the 
wind is contrary, and the Roebuck is 

the only vessel that has succeeded in getting near enough to open fire. 
I^ine o'clock comes. The battle thus far has been only a skirmish. 



LOKD Stirling's last strugglk AiluD^'D the old cortjelyou house. 

around the bouse till two hundred and fifty of the four hundred have 
fallen, and then StLi'ling surrenders his sword. 

The remaining Americans are rushing toward tlie mill, the only place 
by which they can retreat. Stirling is taken prisoner. Some of Small- 
wood's men gain the mill; but Cornwallis has planted his cannon to sweep 
tlie road, and the balls come through the ranks. Some of Stirling's men, 
cut oif from the bridge, retreat across the marsh, and leap into the creek 
to swim to tlie other shore. Some sink to rise no more. Some are shot 
by the brutal Hessians and equally blood-thirsty British, as they struggle 
in the water. ^-"•-- -'•-o fall upon their knees, are bayoneted without 
mercy. Tlie ison with their blood. 

The Brit loat over the massacre. One, after the battle, 

writes home about it : 

'•' The IL ir brave Highlanders gave no quarter, and 



a fine sight to see with what alacrity they dispatched the rebels with their 

bayonets after we had surrounded them, so that they could not resist. We 

took care to tell the Hessians that the ^ _ ., . ^ 

rebels had resolved to give no quarter 

to them in particular, which made them 

tight desperately, and put all to death 

Avho fell into their hands." 

General Washington is up in one of 
the forts, and the tears roll down his 
cheeks as lie sees the slaughter ; but he 
is powerless to save them. Before noon 
the battle is over; and from fifteen hundred to two thousand Americans 
have been killed, wounded, or taken prisoners. The British have lost be- 
tween three and four hundred. 



With bullets falling around them, Elijah and Esek made their way 
across the creek by the mill, and reached the intreuchments. 

If General Howe had attacked the intreuchments at once, quite likely 
"^uld have taken them and the whole of the American troops on the 

106 THE BOYS OF 76. 

island ; but he allowed his troops to rest, resolving to begin a regular siege, 
and so lost a golden opportunity. 

Elijah and Esek lay all night within musket-shot of the British. They 
could hear the Britisli soldiers at work with axes and shovels, and knew 
that they were erecting batteries. 

A thick fog had settled over the island. Day dawned, but the fog re- 
mained. General Washington called a council of his officers, and it was 
decided to evacuate the island. All day long the troops lay in the in- 
trenchments, but when night came there was a busy scene at Brooklyn 

One of the American regiments was from Marblehead, in Massachu- 
setts, and the men composing it were fishermen. Every man knew how to 
pull an oar. The Marbleheaders were more at home on the sea than on 
the land. The regiment was commanded by Colonel Glover, and General 


Washington selected him as the fittest person in the army to superintend 
the ferrying, and he did it nobly. 

Elijah and Esek were asleep when their captain touched them. "Get 
up !" he said, in a whisper. " Don't speak ; make no noise." 

They took their places in the ranks, and the regiment marched away to 
the ferry so silently that the British heard nothing of the moveme 

Boat after boat was filled and sent aw^ay in the fog and darkn- 
ing the troops in New^ York, then returning for more. From 



till inoniing the fishermen plied their oars. When the morning dawned, 
the fog lifted, and the sun rose bright and clear. The British were ready 
to open fire on Fort Putnam, but found it deserted. General Clinton or- 
dered out the cavalry to pursue the fleeing Americans. The troops dashed 
down to the ferry, but General Washington had just left, and his army 

r _^ T_ = — ^ ^ ^--- — =^ ^^^^ safely landed in Kew York. 

General Howe thought that he had 
Washington in a trap, but found 
himself mistaken, and was greatly 
mortified when he found that the 
whole ariny had escaped. 


108 "^^HE BOYS OF 76. 



THE liext day, after the troops retreated from Brooklyn, some of the 
ships of the British fleet sailed up the harbor and dropped anchor 
within cannon-shot of the city. In the night one ship passed into the East 
River, while a portion of the fleet sailed around Long Island and came 
lip the Sound. It was very plain that General Howe intended to move the 
array from Long Island across to 'New York, and, by taking possession of 
the region north and east of the city, capture the American army. 

General "Washington wanted to find out exactly what Howe intended 
to do, and Captain Nathan Hale, of Connecticut, went over to Long Island 
to learn what he could of Howe's intentions. While he was gone. General 
Washington made preparations for leaving the city. The Marbleheaders 
were kept at work ferrying the sick in the hospitals across the Hudson to 
New Jersey, and in transporting the supplies up the river to Dobb's Ferry. 
On the night of the 14th of September, ten war-ships moved up and 

dropped anchor in Kip's Bay. Mr. Jacobus. 

Kip lived in an old-fashioned Dutch house, 

- built of bricks make in Holland and brought 

to America, because the old Dutch burghers 

thought that there was no clay in America 

suitable to be made into bricks. The house 

'^^^ -i^^&r ' stood a short distance from the w^ater, and 

- >--^^^^^^-- j^^^ curiously shaped windows in the roof, 

JACOBUS kip's house. -, .^ i i ^T, • J 1 

and a weather-cock above the ridge-pole. 
Several regiments of Americans, under Colonel Parsons and Colonel 
Fellows, were stationed along the shore to prevent the Britisli from land- 
ing at Kip's ; but soon after da^^-break the ships ran out their guns and 
began to fire. The shot came crashing through the trees, and some of the 
soldiers, w^lio never had been under fire, were greatly frightene 3y 

started to run; but the ofiicers stopped them, and they curled dov id 

the intrenchments. 


Esek and Elijah saw a great fleet of boats start from the Long Island 
shore filled with troops — four thousand or more — under Sir Henry Clin- 
ton. They pulled past the ships, which were roaring all the while. Be- 
fore the first boat reached the shore some of the Americans started to 

" Stop, you cow^ards !" shouted Colonel Parsons. 

" Come back !" cried Colonel Fellows ; but a panic had seized the mili- 
tia, and the ofi^cers might as well have tried to stop the wind. Esek and 
Elijah, and a few who had been in battle, fired a volley, and then, with 
the ofiicers, retreated. 

As they fell back they saw General Washington trying to stop the fu- 
gitives. He shouted to them, but they paid no heed to him. He was so 
mortified and angry that he drew his sword and started alone across the 
field toward the British, who were landing and forming. His bravery had 
gotten the better of his judgment. One of his aids seized his horse by the 
bit. Not till then did Washington see how foolish it would be for him to 
rush upon the enemy alone. 

Elijah heard a tramping of feet, and saw the fishermen of Marble- 
head, who had finished their w^ork on the river, and were once more in the 
field. They had braved the ocean all their lives, and were not frightened 
now in the presence of the British. Elijah and Esek, and the other cool- 
headed soldiers, faced about and poured in such a .fire that the British, 
who had started in pursuit, came to a halt. 

All this time General Putnam was in the city with four thousand men, 
ignorant of w^hat was going on at Kip's. General Clinton had landed two 
miles in his rear, and was ready to move w^estward to the Hudson. It was 
only a mile that he would have to march. General Washington sent a 
messenger to Putnam. " Evacuate immediately," was the order. 

The only way of escape left open was up the shore of the Hudson, 
along cart-paths, for the British were already in possession of the Boston 

General Putnam did not know the way, but, fortunately, he had a 
yoimg ofl&cer for an aid who knew every path and by-way — the officer 
whose acquaintance Dodifer made in the wilderness on the march to Que- 
bec — Aaron Burr. General Putnam started. 

There was one brigade (Colonel Silliman's) in a little fort which the 
Americans had named Bunker Hill (corner of Broadway and Grand 
Street). Major Burr rode up to it. 

■^What are you lingering here for ? Why don't you retreat?" he 

110 THE BOYS OF '76. 

" We can not retreat. The British have possession of the road ! We 
will stay here and hold the fort," said General Knox. 

" You can't hold it ten minutes. You have no water, no provisions. 
There is no place where the troops can be sheltered from the bombs. The 
British will throw in shells and make it a slaughter-pen," said Burr. 
" It will be madness to attempt to retreat," Knox replied, 
" I can gnide yon. I know every cow-path." 

They trusted him, and went upon the run, down through the fields to 
the Hudson, past Mr. De Lancey's house, then through woods, along narrow 
paths, and so escaped. 

Just about the time that General Putnam started. General Howe and 
General Clinton, having compelled Washington to retreat, rode west half 
way to the Hudson, and drew up at the house of Mr. Murray. It was a 
delightful mansion, with a lawn and graveled walks in front, a green-house, 
and rustic seats. Mrs. Murray received them courteously, and it occurred 
to her that if she could entertain them a while it might be of some service 
to General Washington. She invited them in, told the servants to prepare 
a lunch, and entertained them so charmingly that they forgot all about 
affairs outside. She kept them fully two hours ; and while they were sip- 
ping Mrs. Murray's wine, and listening to her engaging conversation, Gen- 
eral Putnam, with his four tliousand 
men, was slipping past them not a h.alf 
mile away. 

General Howe was greatly cha- 
grined when he learned that Putnam 
had escaped, but set up his head-quar- 
ters at Mr. Beekman's fine old mansion. 
General Washington had retreated 
toward King's Bridge, and was quar- 
tered in a house owned hy an old ac- 
quaintance (Major Morris) who had served with him under General Brad- 
dock. Major Morris had sided with the king, and was absent from home 
with his beautiful wife, nee Phillipse, whom General Washington once 
met at the house of Colonel Beverly Robinson, on the banks of the Hud- 
son, near West Point, in 1756. Mrs. Morris was Mrs. Robinson's sister, 
who, as Miss Phillipse, had so charmed the rich young planter from Virginia 
that he asked her to become Mrs. Washington; but she declined the (>-^^.: 
and married Major Morris, and now Washington was occupying he- 

The next morning, the British hght-infavitry, under Gene^ 
advanced toward Harlem through a narrow path, wliich was 




Colonel Knowlton, of Connecticut, the brave officer who had fought so no- 
bly at Bunker Hill ; and by Major 
Leitcb, of Virginia, who had three 
companies from Colonel Weeden's 

At the first volley of the light- 
infantry Major Leitch fell, with 
three bullets through his body ; 
and a moment later Colonel 
Knowlton was shot through the 
head. This was a sad loss, for 
he was one of the ablest officers 
in the army. General Washing- 
ton wrote this in regard to him : " He would have been an honor to any 

Colonel Griffith and Colonel Richardson, commanding two Maryland 
regiments, hastened to re-enforce those ah-eady engaged. The light-in- 
fantry had come out into a field, and the Marylanders and Connecticnt 
men opened such a vigorous fire that they fled to the shelter of the woods. 

General Washington feared that Howe had all his army drawm up be- 
hind the hills (now in Central Park), and did not dare to follow up the 
advantaofe. The Americans lost onlv a few killed and w^ounded, while 
the light-infantry lost more than one hundred. 

While this was going on. Captain Hale was returning from Long Isl- 
and. He had been through the British camp, but was recognized by a 
Tory who knew him, and, having a grudge against him, had him arrested. 
He was brought over to General Howe's head- quarters, at Mr. Beekman's 
house, and turned over to the provost-marshal, Cunningham, a brutal Irish- 
man, who had charge of the prisoners. He was so brutal that, if he saw^ 
a prisoner eating his dinner, he improved the opportunity to kick the dish 
from his hands. Xo scene of suffering moved him, and many Whigs were 
hanged under his command. 

Captain Hale was shut up in Mr. Beekman's green-house. Sentinels, 
with loaded muskets, paced the graveled walk through the night. In the 
mornii:.g Captain Hale was told that he was to be hanged. No trial was 
granted him. He asked for a Bible, that he might read some of its com- 
forting wor efore being executed ; but Cunningham would not permit 
him to hav He asked that a clergyman might be permitted to pray 

with him • his Cunningham would not grant. He had written some 

letters to other and sisters; but these the unfeeling wretch tore to 



pieces. Without judge or jury, court or trial, on a bright September 
morning, he was taken into the orchard and hanged. There was no quiv- 
ering of the lip, no blanching of his cheek, as he stood beneath the tree. 
" I only regret that I have but one life to give to my country," he said. 
They were his last words. 

General Howe, in the flush of his success, ignored the usages of war — 
to try men by court-martial before hanging them. He decreed that the 
young patriot should die the death of a dog, without trial of any kind. It 
was an unworthy, nngracious act ; and it came back to trouble him, as we 
shall see by-and-by. 






GENERAL WASHIlSrGTON was in a strong position, and Howe 
did not dare to attack him in front : he would get in his rear. He 
embarked his army in boats, sailed east through Hell Gate, sixteen miles 
to Throck's Neck, a point of land owned by Mr, Throckmorton. 

Washington sent General Heath with Colonel Hand and Colonel Pres- 
cott, to defend a bridge over a causeway. Heath took up the planks, 
planted his cannon to sweep the causeway, and Howe had to re-embark 
once more, and go farther east to Pell's Neck, where a body of Hessians 
had landed. AYhen Howe reached that place he found General Sullivan 
confronting him, and the fishermen of Marblehead, under Colonel Glover; 
but the British greatly outnumbered the Americans, and Howe was able 
to push inland to the hills south of New Roclielle. The country was 
thickly covered with :^06'ds ; but Howe found 

a small house in which he established his head- -= ;^. 

quarters. "~ -_ 

The next day seventy-two ships sailed up 4 ^^""^r^^ i 

the Sound, bringing ten thousand Hessians, two ^'^ _ ^^v, 

hundred British, and two thousand horses, be- "^^^ ^^^^^^ 

sides an immense amount of supplies.' General ^^^^,^ head-quaktehs. 
Howe had left several thousand troops in New 

York; but this arrival gave him an army of thirty thousand in the field, 
well supplied ; while Washington could number only nineteen thousand, 
many of whom were farmers who had hastened in to serve a few days. 

Washington saw that Howe intended, to get in his rear and sweep in 
the whole army, as a fislierman incloses a school of fish in a seine ; but he 
had no intention of being: cauo-ht. '' 

On the 21st of October the army moved from Harlem north, in four 
divisions, commanded by Sullivan, Lee, Heath, and Lincoln. 

There was a small fort on the bank of the Hudson called Fort Wash- 
ington, and another fort opposite on the west bank, called Fort Lee. They 



were erected to prevent the British fleet from going np the Hudson. 

General Washington wanted to evacuate Fort Washington, but Congress 

thought it ought to be held, and, out of 
deference to the wishes of that body, he 
left Colonel Magaw with two thousand 
men to hold it. 

A little river called the Bronx rises 
among the hills fourteen miles north of 
New Rochelle, runs to the Sound par- 
allel with the Hudson, four miles from 
it. Howe was east of the Bronx, while 
Washington was between the Bronx and 
Washington made a rapid march and reached White Plains 


the Hudson. 






on che night of the 21st of October, and established his head-quarters in 
Mr. Miller's house. 

'No use for Howe to attempt to inclose him now. Washington was be- 
yond the sweep of the net. 

Elijah and Esek camped in a corn-field. While sitting bj their camp^ 
fire, a young captain of artillery came and sat down by it to warm himself. 
He had two cannon in the woods near by, placed so as to sweep the Brit- 
isli if they should attempt to cross the Bronx at the foot of the hill below 
them. There was something about the ofiicer that attracted Elijah's atten-, 
tion. He was very polite and well-informed. Elijah learned that his 
name was Alexander Hamilton, and that he was born in the West Indies. 
Little did he imagine what a career Captain Hamilton would have — that 
he would become Washington's most intimate friend, and be known as one 
of the ablest writers and most accomplished orators of tli€ age ; that he 
would finally be shot in a duel, across the Hudson, by the young ofiicer 
who had piloted General Putnam out of New York — Aaron Burr. 

General M'Dougall commanded the troops on the hill. The next 
morning, the 28th of October, General Howe brought up twenty cannon, 
and began to throw shot and shell across the Bronx. Captain Hamilton 
made no reply. Soon the British under Sir Henry Clinton, and the Hes- 
sians under De Heister, who had the left of the line, moved down from 
the hill to cross the little stream. The pioneers, with axes and fence-rails, 
came in advance to build a bridge. Captain Hamilton opened with his 
two guns. He had the exact range, and sent his shot right down into the 
Hessian ranks. The fire was 
so destructive that the Hessians 
fled in confusion ; but General 
Leslie, with a British brigade, 
and a brigade of Hessians, un- 
der Colonel Rail, crossed where 
they were sheltered from Cap- 
tain Hamilton's guns. They 
came upon M'Dougall's right 
wing, south-west of the hill, and 
the battle began. M'Dougall's 
men had made breastworks of 
the corn - stalks, piling them 

against a fence, and were w^ell protected. General Leslie attempted to 
charge up the hill; but Colonel Smallwood, with the Maryland troops who 
had fought so gallantly at Cortelyou's house, and had escaped by swim- 


116 THE BOYS OF 76. 

ming Gowanus Creek, cat them down, and drove them in confusion back 
to the shelter of a hilL For more than an hour they held the ground 
against four times their number. 

General Howe had two hundred and fifty cavalry, which went out 
through the fields and woods toward the Hudson, making a wide sweep. 
They were followed by Colonel Eall. After marching west, they turned 
north, and came npon some militia companies on M'Dougall's right. The 
militia fired once and then ran, and the troopers and Hessians attacked 
Small wood on his right flank, and so forced him to retreat to the main 
line, which Washington had established on the hills a mile in the rear of 
Chatterton Hill. 

When M'Dougall began to retreat. General Putnam, with several regi- 
ments, started out from the main line, and M'Dougall's men retreated 
through the advancing ranks. The Hessians were following, thinking 
they had won the \ictOYj, but suddenly found themselves face to face 
with Putnam. They saw a flash, heard a roar, and then came the storm 
of leaden rain. 


General Howe came up, looked at Washington's position, and con- 
cluded that it would not do to attack him in front. He had lost three 
hundred men, and did not care to march directly against the strong in- 

Although he had ten thousand more troops than Washington, he halt- 
ed, and sent for Lord Percy to come from New York with four thousand 
men. Percy arrived on the 30th of October. Every body expected that 
there would be a great battle the next day; but at midnight a terrible 
storm arose, which lasted all the next day, damaging the ammunition of 
both armies. General Washington was not satisfied with- his position, for 
he saw that Howe, by marching east, might get in his rear. There was a 
much stronger position three miles farther north, where the hills were4igh 




and steep, and where the Croton Kiver would prevent Howe from getting 
in his rear. He had constructed strong intrenchments on these hills, and, 
just before day-break, while the storm was still raging, the army moved 
silently away. 

Howe was greatly surprised when he found the Americans had re- 
treated. He advanced with his army; but when he saw Washington's 
cannon planted on hills one hundred feet high, and that there was no op- 
portunity to get in his rear, he was greatly perplexed. He had expected 
to capture the army on Long Island ; was confident of hemming the 
Americans in Kew York ; was sure of sweeping them in by the move- 
ment to Is'ew Eochelle, and here he was, completely baffled. Winter was 
coming on. What should he do 'i There were Fort Washington and Fort 


120 THE BOYS OF 76. 

Lee; he wonld turn his attention to those fortifications, and, instead of at- 
tacking Washington, moved his army toward New York. 

What should Washington do ? More than half of his army were of 
the militia, who had come out to serve a few days ; their time had expired, 
and they went home. He saw that Howe would probably invade New 
Jersey, and, leaving General Putnam, with a portion of the army, to guard 
the Highlands, crossed the Hudson, and encamped in the rear of Fort Lee. 

General Howe invested Fort Washington. Colonel Magaw made a 
brave defense, but a hopeless one. Li a few days he was forced to sur- 
render, and the soldiers, who might have been saved if Congress had but 
allowed Washington to manage affairs, were taken to New York and put 
into the prison -ship Jersey^ an old seventy -four -gun ship moored in the 
East Eiver, where they suffered the most inhuman treatment, and where 
they nearly all sickened and died. 

General Washington stood on the Palisades, at Fort Lee, and saw how 
bravely the fort was defended. There were tears on his cheeks as he saw 
the flag hauled down and the garrison march out as prisoners, going to 
their terrible fate ; but he was powerless to aid them. 

Howe, having captured Fort Washington, sent Cornwallis with six 
thousand troops across the Hudson in boats to take Fort Lee. Cornwallis 
crossed from Fort Washington, landing at the foot of the Palisades. A 
British engineer drew a picture of the landing, which shows how the Pali- 
sades looked, and how the army climbed the steep bluff. The soldiers 
tugged at the cannon and got them to the top ; the army formed to make 
the attack, but there was no one in the fort to oppose Cornwallis. The 
place was of no value to the Americans, now that Fort Washington had 
been captured, and the garrison was retreating to Hackensack to join 
Washington. H Cornwallis had pushed on, he might have scattered Wash- 
ington's little army, for it numbered only four thousand now ; but he was 
well satisfied with what had been accomplished. He waited two days, and 
so missed a great opportunity. 




W HEIST spring opened and the ice went out of tlie St. Lawrence, a 
fleet of vessels sailed up the river to Quebec with re-enforcements, 
under General Burgoyne, for Sir Guy Carleton. There were only a few 
American troops in Canada, under General Wooster. Generals Arnold 
and Sullivan were with Wooster, but General Carleton had much the largest 
army. He advanced to Montreal, then to St. Johns — the American gen- 
erals retreating before him ; and in June there was not an American sol- 
dier in Canada. The last week in May, General Bu:*'goyne and General 
Carleton moved from Montreal to St. Johns. The Americans shipped 
their supplies and cannon on boats, and sent them up the river to Lake 
Champlain. The last boat put off. General Arnold and Major Wilkin- 
son, his aid, rode out two miles toward Montreal, saw the British rapidly 
approaching, rode back, shot their horses to prevent them from falling into 
the hands of the British, jumped into a canoe, paddled south, and overtook 
the retreating boats. All the toiling through the wilderness, all the hard- 
ships at Quebec, had ended in failure. Carleton had no boats to pursue 
the Americans, who retreated to Crown Point and Ticonderoga ; but they 
very well knew that he would soon have a fleet of vessels on the lake, for 
seven hundred British went to work cutting down trees and hewing tim- 
ber. Congress decided that a fleet must be built to hold the lake, and 
ship-carpenters were soon on their way from Rhode Island, Massachusetts, 
and New Hampshire to Ticonderoga. They felled the trees on the shores 
of the lake, hewed the timbers, floated them to Ticonderoga, and by Sep- 
tember had quite a fleet of vessels — three schooners, two sloops, three gal- 
leys, eight gondolas, and twenty-one gun-boats. One of the schooners car- 
ried twelve guns, the other two eight. One of the sloops carried twelve, 
and the others eight guns. The gondolas carried three guns, and the gun- 
boats one gun each. 

General Carleton had one very powerful vessel, the Thunderer — a flat- 
bottomed craft, carrying eighteen guns, six of them twenty-four pounders. 




shore: (l.champlmn) 

The Inflexible carried eighteen guns, the Carleton twelve, the Loyal Con- 
sort seven, the schooner Maria fourteen guns. Besides these, General 
Carleton had twentj-one gun-boats, each carrying one gun. His fleet was 
much more powerful than the American fleet commanded by General 

Arnold. Captain Pringle 
commanded it, and one of 
his ofiicers was young Ed- 
ward Pellew, who after- 
ward became one of the 
great naval commanders of 
England, known as Admi- 
ral Yiscount Exmouth. 

About ten miles south 
of Plattsburg, near the 
western shore of the lake, 
is Yalcour Island. Be- 
tween this island and the 
JSTew York shore, Arnold 
was lying with all his fleet 
on the 11th of October. It 
was a dangerous position, 
for the British fleet could 
sail south, past Yalconr, 
and cut off his retreat to Ticonderoga. Many of Arnold's men never 
had sighted a cannon, very few had ever loaded one ; while Carleton had 
old artillery-men. He had seven hundred men, and Arnold less than flve 
hundred. Carleton had experienced seamen, while many of Arnold's men 
did not know the difference between the foresail and the mainsail. 

It is early in the morning, when Carleton's fleet is seen under full sail, 
coming round a wooded point of land called Cumberland Head, forming 
Plattsburg Bay. The wind is favorable, and all sails are spread to the 
breeze. It is the largest fleet ever seen on the lake. General Arnold or- 
ders the Hoyal Savage^ of twelve guns, one of his largest vessels, and 
three galleys, to get under way, advance, and engage the enemy. Arnold 
is a general, not an admiral. In manoeuvring troops, he sends out skir- 
mishers, and so will he begin this battle on the water. An admiral would 
bring all of his vessels into action at once, if possible. 

In attemptino^ to approach the British, the Royal Savage runs aground. 
So firmly is 3I grounded that it will be impossible to geC her off, 

and the ere' to the w^ater, or push off in boats to the other ships, 



and this ship is set on fire. Thus, at the outset, Arnold loses one of his 
largest ships, and all his personal baggage, which is on board, though he 
himself is on board the Congress. 

It is twelve o'clock when the British fleet, having sailed past the island, 
approaches the American fleet, and the battle begins. The British gun- 
boats are within musket-shot, but 
the Thunderer has not been able 
to beat up against the wind. 
All through the afternoon, from 
twelve till five, the unequal con- 
test rages. The vessels are at 
anchor. The British do not come 
to close quarters, but, having ex- 
perienced gunners, take position 
and send the shot into the Amer- 
ican vessels. The rigging is cut 
to pieces. Two shot go througli 
the mainmast of the Congress. 
Twelve times that vessel is struck 
— seven of the shot goiqg below 
the water-line. The deck is slip- 
pery with blood. The slaughter 
is fearful. Bat brave men are 
on board. They know very little 
about naval warfare, and Arnold 
himself has to sight most of the 

The Washington galley is shat- 
tered to pieces — the captain and sailing-master wounded, the lieutenant 
killed. All the oflficers on one of the gondolas are killed or wounded. 
Another gondola is so riddled with solid shot, that it sinks soon after the 
engagement. Sixty have been killed and wounded. On the British side 
forty have fallen, but the vessels are very little injured. 

Night closes upon the scene, with the British fleet anchored in a line 
from the island to the main-land. The wind is blowing from the north, 
cold and raw. The Americans can not beat up against it, and go round 
between the island and Cumberland Head, and so escape. In the morn- 
ing Carleton will finish the work, sinking every vessel. 

It was a sad plight in which the Americans found themselves. The 
vessels w^ere leaking badly; their ammunition was nearly gone ; the Hoyal 



Savage was lost ; one of the gondolas sunk ; the Lady Wasldngton was a 
wi'eck ; sixty men had fallen. What was to be done ? 

As the last rays of twilight faded away, General Arnold took particu- 
lar notice of the position of the British vessels. If possible, the fleet must 
escape to Crown Point. There was no moon, no stars, and dark clouds 
were rolling from the north. The wind was blowing briskly. At a sig- 
nal, one by one, the vessels slipped away, sailing past the British so quietly 
that no sentinel pacing the decks discerned the white sails in the darkness. 
The Congress was the last to run the gantlet. 


Morning dawned, and the British, all ready to blow the American ves- 
sels out of the water, were surprised to see the entire fleet ten miles away. 
Up came the anchors. Quickly were the sails shaken to the wind, and the 
fleet went gayly up the lake before the wind. The Congress and some of 
the other vessels were leaking so badly that Arnold was obliged to drop 
anchor while the carpenters tried to stop the leaks. The wind died away, 
and the lake became calm ; but, though smooth, nothing could keep two 
of the gondolas from sinking. 

The wind changed to the south, and neither of the fleets could make 
much progress against it, and night shut-in once more. Carleton had not 
overtaken his prey. 

The morning of the 13th dawned. TJie Congress^ Lady Washington^ 
and four of the gondolas had made little progress, while the rest of the 
fleet was well on its way to Crown Point. The British were hastening on. 
The Lady Washington was overhauled and obliged to surrender. On 
came the British fleet — a ship of eighteen guns, another of fourteen, an- 
other of twelve — all pouring their broadsides into the Congress and one 
of the galleys. The Are was returned. With all sail set, the pursuers and 
pursued pressed on ; but the wind was light, and very little headway was 
made. For four hours the battle went on, till the American vessels were 



nothing but wrecks — sails rent, sides stove in, water pouring into the holds, 
yet the men on board will not surrender. They run the vessels into a 
creek on the east side of the lake. The vessels ground. " Set them on 
fire !" Arnold shouts from the deck of the Congress. " Leap ashore with 
your muskets !" are his orders to the marines. 


The men, holding their muskets over their heads to keep them from 
being wet, jump into the water, wade to the shore, ready to open fire upon 
the British. 

Up from the decks roll the flames. Wreaths of fire curl around the 

128 THE BOYS OF 76. 

masts. The sails are broad slieets of flame. When every man has left the 
fleet, Arnold lets himself into the water by a rope, and wades to the shore. 
The British are close upon him. The soldiers on the nearest ship open 
lire; but from the alders and beneath the pines the rifles are cracking, 
and they continue to crack till the ships are all aflame. Then, helping on 
the wounded, the crews make their way to Crown Point, just in time to 
escape the Indians whom Carleton has landed to intercept them. 

The fleet was destroyed, but not captured, and the country rang in 
praise of the men who had fought so bravely against a superior foe. 

General Carleton had driven the Americans out of Canada, had at- 
tached the Indians to the cause of the king ; but he was not strong enough 
to attack Ticonderoga, and returned to Montreal ; while General Burgoyne, 
with great plans for the future, hastened to England to make them known 
to the ministers and the king. 

There being no further need for an army at Ticonderoga, all except 
three or four regiments were dismissed, or else went south under General 
Sullivan, to join General Washington; but before they arrived General 
Washington was retreating before Cornwallis across New Jersey, as we 
shall see. 





GENERAL HOWE, having secured Kew York, began to make prep- 
arations to take Philadelphia. Congress was in session there, in 
Independence Hall, and 
had declared America to 
be independent of Great 
Britain. He would see 
about that. He would 
chase Washington 
through 'New Jersey as a 
hound chases a fox, scat- 
ter the last remnant of 
the rebel army, seize the 
members of Congress, 
and send them to En- 
gland to be hanged as 
traitors. A division of 
the army was placed under Cornwallis, who was instructed to pursue 

AVashington had less than three thousand men. It was a weary march 
to Elijah and Esek across the marshes from Hackensack to l!^ewark, and 
from there to New Brunswick. Their hearts sunk at New Brunswick 
when the New Jersey and Maryland troops, whose time had expired, left 
camp and started for home. The army numbered only seventeen hun- 
dred, after their departure. 

From New Brunswick they marched to Princeton, with Cornwallis 
pressing hard after them. From Princeton they hastened to Trenton over 
the frozen roads, with Cornwallis marching faster than ever. They were 
hastening to the Delaware. If they could but reach Trenton, where a 
large number of boats had been collected — if they could have an hour or 
two there, they would be safe. They reached the river; sent over the 

9 , ■ C 




cannon first, then the baggage. Eegiment after regiment crossed ; and 
jnst as the last reached the Pennsylvania bank, Cornwallis marclied into 
Trenton, his drums beating and colors flying. 

Cornwallis was baffled. The river could not be forded. He had no 
boats, and must wait till it was frozen before seizing his prey. - General 
Howe issued a proclamation, offering pardon to all who would lay down 
their arms and own allegiance to tlie king. A great many people w^ho had 
favored Congress flocked to Cornwallis's camp, and swore fealty to the 
king. Half of the people in New Jersey were Tories," and Washington 
knew not whom to trust. 

The little army was disheartened to learn that General Lee, who had 

returned from Charleston, had been 
captured. He was marching from 
the Highlands of the Hudson to- 
w^ard the Delaware w^ith a division 
of the army. General Sullivan 
was with him. Lee was ambitious, 
and w^anted to be commander-in- 
chief, and, thongh ordered to join 
Washington, was meditating a dis- 
obedience of his orders. His troops 
were at Morristown. He left them 
under Sullivan, and rode down to 
Basking Ridge, a few miles, to pass 
the night in his own house, and was 
surprised the next morning to find 
the house surrounded by British 
drawons. The Tories had ffiven them information. 

In his dressing-gown and slippei's, bare-headed, with nothing but a 
blanket to protect him from the cold, he was taken to New York. Per- 
haps, instead of being a loss, his capture was a gain, for Sullivan, with the 
troops, hastened on, and crossed the river at M'Conkey's Ferry, twelve 
miles above Trenton. A bridge now spans the river there, but then there 
was no bridge all the way from the mountains to Delaware Bay. 

Although Cornwallis had not been able to capture Washington, Gen- 
eral Howe was well satisfied with what had been accomplished. He had 
gained possession of New York, scattered the American army, driven 
Washington beyond the Delaware, and could write home to the ministers 
that the people were becoming loyal, and that th^ rebellion would soon be 
(H-ushed. He was well situated, in New York, gave grand dinners, drank 






his wine, enjoyed his evenings in playing cards, and looked forward to an 
agreeable winter. 

General Cornwallis was well 
satisfied with the part he had per- 
formed. He had captured Fort 
Washington, chased Washington 
across the Delaware, and was go- 
ing home to England to enjoy 
the honors which the king would 
confer npon him. He left Col- 
onel Rail, with fifteen hundred 
Hessians and two hnndred Brit- 
ish cavalry, at Trenton ; stationed 
Connt Donop eight miles farther 
down the river, at Bordentown.; 
and sent another party eight miles 
south of Bordentown, to Burling- 
ton ; and another party ten miles 
from Burlino-ton, to Mount Hollv. 





He left some troops at Princeton, and made his grand supply of stores 

at New Brunswick. By dividing the army into detachments, the troops 

^_^ _ ^ could obtain forage and tresh 

1 ^ ~\^ provisions. He held Washino^- 

-= ^^*^-^^^ \ ton and his little force in con- 

^ ~ \ tempt. The American army had 

dwindled from twenty thousand, 
at White Plains on the 28th of 
October, to less than two thou- 
sand in December. 

But Congress had made a 
patriotic appeal to the country, 
promising to give each officer 
and soldier a liberal bounty of 
land, and the militia of Pennsyl- 
vania were coming into camp. 
Two thousand came, under Gen- 
1/9^1 iP»^ ^^^ Cadwalader and General 

*^ S i PniDg ^ and took post at Bristol, between Trenton and Philadelphia. 

Elijah and Esek could look across the river, at Trenton, and see the 
Hessians on parade, or roaming through the village. The Hessians en- 
joyed themselves. At night they plundered pig-pens and hen-roosts, and 
made themselves at home in the kitchens. They insulted the girls, and 
felt that they were conquerors. 

General Washington saw that Cornwallis had made a mistake in the 
military game : he had spread his troops out too much. He resolved to 
take advantage of it, and laid his plan. He had about twenty-five hun- 
dred men opposite Trenton, ^.nd twenty cannon. The boats in which he 
had crossed the river had been taken up stream to M'Con key's Ferry, and 
^ were safely moored on the Pennsylvania side. Generals Cadwalader and 
f/yfTl.t^iWfrr^Sit Bristol, also had some boats. He would send the two thousand 
men there across the river to attack Count Donop at Bordentown. Such a 
movement would prevent Donop from helping Pall at Trenton. 

With his twenty-five hundred, with Greene, Sullivan, and Knox to aid 
him, Washington resolved to make a night march up the river to M'Con- 
key's, cross there, divide his army, and make a rapid march to Trenton in 
two divisions — one on the river road, and the other by the road leading 
through the village of Pennington. He would knock at the front door 
and back door at the same instant, surprise the Hessians, get them between 
two fires, cut off their retreat, and capture the whole force. 



General Washington thought that Christmas -night would be the best 
time to make the attack, for the Hessians kept Christmas, and would drink 
a great deal of beer, and be boozy before morning. 

Genei'al Putnam was in Philadelphia; and, to help the plan on, two 
da3's before Christmas, sent Colonel Grijith,fwith four hundred and fifty 
militia, across the river to march toward Mount Holly, but to make no 
attack upon the British there. If they advanced, he was to retreat. Col- 
onel Grifiith crossed the river, and Count Donop started south from Bor- 
dentown with all his troops. 

Christmas came. The wind was raw, the ground frozen and covered 
with snow. Elijah and Esek sat around their camp-fire, thinkhig of the 
folks at home, and the comfort by the fires in the old kitchens. They 
had been fighting for liberty a year and a half, and now the prospect 
was gloomier than ever before. In a few days the river would be fro- 
zen over, for it was now filled with floating ice, and then the British could 
cross anywhere, and the little army would be scattered to the winds. 

Night came. The wind was east, and the cold, gray clouds came roll- 
ing in from the sea, bringing darkness at an early hour. 

" Fall into line, boys !" said the captain of their company. The soldiers 
wondered what was going on, but the regiments all paraded. There was 
no beating of drums, but silently they moved away, marching up the road 
leading to M'Conkey's. 

They reached the ferry, and found the Marblehead men there, in the 
boats, ready to pull at the oars. They were the men for the hour — as they 
were at Brooklyn. 

The artillery-men led the horses into the flat-bottomed boats, and held 
them by the bit, while 
the soldiers wheeled 
the cannon on board, 
and the boats pushed 
out into the stream. 
The current was strong, 
and the great cakes of 
ice whirled against the 
boats and ground their 
sides. It was slow 
work, cold work, hard 
work. Elijah and Esek 
stood at the bow of one of the boats, with poles to push the ice away. 
They had no mittens, nor had any of the soldiers, nor the rowers. The 




water froze upon the oars. They thrashed their hands till the blood oozed 
from under their finger-nails. The current carried them down stream. 
The night was dark, but they pulled and pushed, and reached the shore, 
and lifted the cannon up the bank ; then the boats, pulled by the ever- 
faithful fishermen, pushed off in the darkness for another load. 

General Washington stood upon the Pennsylvania shore, wrapped in 
his cloak, directing affairs ; while General Knox, on the New Jersey side, 
shouted to the men to be quick in getting the cannon up the bank. From 
seven in the evening till four in the morning the boatmen pulled at the 
oars, and the soldiers stood shivering upon the bank. Many of them had 




no overcoats, some no blankets ; some had no shoes, but stood in the snow 
with old rags around their feet. The wind was blowing more keenly from 
the east, and the snow-flakes began to fall. Some of the soldiers curled 
down under the bank to keep themselves warm ; some stamped their feet 
and thrashed their hands, waiting through the gloomy night. 

The last boat came, bringing General Washington. Pie took General 
Greene, General Stirling, General Mercer, and General Stevens, and start- 
ed, with about half the troops, down the Pentonville road. Esek was with 
this division. General Sullivan, with the rest of the troops, started down 
the river road, to knock at the front door, while General Washington was 
approaching the back door. General Sullivan had half of the artillery. 
Elijah was with this division. 

They move rapidly, for the cocks are crowing in the barns, and they 
have fully seven miles to march, and it will be daylight before they reach 
Trenton. They fear that the plan will fail. Oh, the dreariness of the 
night! So cold, so dark; the wind cutting like a knife, the snow falling 

136 THE BOYS OF 76. 

in their faces, their clothes frozen, the crust cutting through the rags bound 
around their feet. They leave their blood-stains on the snow ; they stagger 
and stumble over the uneven ground. They are hungry and weary, but on 
they go— tramp, tramp, tramp ! For what ? To secure their liberties and 
the liberties of those who may live when they are dead. Dead ! For this 
night's work they shall live forever. 

In Trenton the Hessians are asleep, or else singing songs and drinking 
their last mugs of beer. Colonel Kail is at Mr. Abraham Hunt's. Mr. 
Hunt is a Quaker— some say that he is a patriot, others that he is a Tory. 
At any rate, he has invited Colonel Eall and his officers to take Christmas 
supper with him, and they are there, having a merry, time, smoking their 
pipes, drinking wine, and playing cards, with an old negro to wait upon 

It is not quite day-break, but a Tory has discovered the approach of 

the Americans, and has sent a man upon the run to Trenton. The mes- 

* __ ^^^_ senger, out of breath, brings a 

note to Colonel Rail. The old 
negro guards the door. 

"I must see Colonel Eall," 
says the messenger. 

"The gemmen can't be dis- 
turbed, sail," the negro replies. 
" Then give that to him, quick !" 
" Oh yes, sah." 

The negro enters the parlor; 
but Colonel Rail is dealing the cards, and can not look at it at that mo- 
ment. The candles have burned low. There are bottles and glasses upon 
the table. The officers are puffing their pipes. Colonel Rail puts the note 
in his pocket. He will examine his hand before reading it. The destiny 
of a nation has been thrown into the game, but Colonel Rail does not 
know it. His own life is at stake, but he does not dream of it. 

A Hessian picket sees something moving along the road in the dim 
gray of the morning. Men on horseback and on foot appear. He hears 
the heavy rumbling of wheels, and the tramp of an army. He fires his 
gun, and the report goes out over the snow-clad hills and the .half -frozen 
waters of the dark rolling rivers. 

" Forward !" It is General Sullivan who shouts it. The soldiers break 
into a run. The arti du whip up their horses. The cannon rumble 

heavily over the froze nd. Elijah can hear a hubbub ^ ; village. 

TJie Hessian pickets .outing to one another, and ru- here and 



there. They hear a drum beating the long roll, and can see soldiers form- 
ing in the street. 

"Unlimber!" shout the artillery -men. The cannon are wheeled into 
position, a cartridge is rammed home ; there is a flash, a roar that awakens 
every sleeper in Trenton. 

Colonel Rail hears the drum-beat, the, cards drop from his hands — the 
game nnfinished. The deep thunder of that gun, jarring the windows and 
shaking the earth, brings home to his intellect, beclouded with wine, some 
sense of the greater game now beginning. The cards, the empty wine-bot- 
tles, the half-filled glasses, the pipes and tobacco are still upon the table ; 
the candles are burning low in their sockets. Colonel Rail is leaping into 
his saddle. Too late! Sullivan has knocked at one door ; Washington is 
about to knock at the other. 

The column under Washington is coming down the Pentonville road. 
It reaches a farm-house, where a farmer is chopping wood. 

" Can you tell me where the Hessian pickets are ?" Washington asks. 

The chopper hesitates. 

" It is General Washington who asks you," says the aid at Washing- 
ton's side. 

A gleam of joy lights up the chopper's face as he points to the spot. 

And now comes the roar of a cannon. Joyful, soul-thrilling sound ! 
Sullivan is there ! "Forward!" 

Out from the road, over the fields sweep the shivering men. Shiv- 
ering no longer now, for that deep and heavy roar has warmed them. 
There it is again ! They hear the rattling of muskets. Moments are 
ages now. 

A little stream, called the Assanpink, comes down through the town, 
and empties into the Delaware. There is a bridge across the stream, and 
a mill-dam. Sullivan has seized the bridge. Ko escape for the Hessians 
in that direction • and now Washington is coming down from the north- 
west, in their rear. It is scarcely ^Ye minutes after Sullivan begins the 
attack before the troops under Washington, Greene, and Stirling make 
their appearance. 

Captain Forrest wheels six cannon into position, to send his shot down 
King Street. While he is doing it, the Hessians bring two guns into 
the street. The gunners are ramming down the cartridges, the match-man 
is lighting his port -fire, but before he can touch them off a company of 
brave men, under Captain William A. Washington, of Colonel Mercer's 
regiment of Virginians, dash up the street, drive the Hessians from their 
guns, and capture them. In this company is a young lieutenant, James 

138 THE BOYS OF 76. 

Monroe, destined to be President of the coi'otry for whose redemption lie 
is figliting. 

Sullivan is pressing nearer, driving the Hessians over against Washing- 
ton, and Washington is driving them back again. Colonel Rail is riding 
here and there shouting to them; but the men, just aroused from sleep, 
know not which w^ay to turn. 

The British cavalry have saddled their horses, but are in confusion. 
They ride up the Assanpink to a ford above the mill-pond, spur their 
liorses across the stream, and flee toward Bordentown. Colonel Ball falls 
from his horse mortally wounded. All is confusion now. Some of the 
Hessians throw down their arms, while others flee toward Princeton ; but 
Washington has not come so far to leave the Princeton road open for their 
escape. Colonel Hand and his riflemen, who gave the Hessians such a 
stirring-up at Flatbush, is there. Surrounded ; no chance to escape ; the 
bewildered, panic-stricken men who have not had time to blacken their 
whiskers with their shoe -brushes this morning rush back to the village, 
throw down their guns, fall on their knees, hold up their hands, and make 
doleful cries. 

So Stirling's men, and Sullivan's, pleaded for life at Brooklyn ; but 
the Hessians and British drove the bayonet home, and crimsoned 'the 
ground with blood, and thought it pleasant work, and a pretty sight to see 
the life-blood flow. Little did they think, then, that the time would come 
when the begging for life would be on the other side. But it has come. 
Qh, life is so dear, so sweet, now ! 

Kindness is better than brutality, forgiveness more noble than revenge. 
1^0 bayonet is plunged remorselessly into the hearts of unresisting foes. 
Humanity triumphs on this glorious morning. One thousand prisoners 
are captured, with six cannon, a thousand muskets, and all the baggage. 
It is the work of twenty minutes. 

Washington, in the kindness of his heart, visits the dying Hessian col- 
onel, and does what he caji to soothe his last moments on earth. 

Cadwalader and ^^S^^iave not been able to cross the river at Bor- 
dentown, and it will not be wise for Washington to remain on the New 
Jersey side. Back to the ferry with the prisoners, with six cannon, with 
tents and supplies, moves the victorious army. Last night the cause of 
liberty was dark and gloomy ; but now the future is radiant with hope. 

Little do those patriots, toiling through the snow, know what they have 
done for the world. Coming centuries alone will reveal the worth of their 
morning's work. 




GENERAL COENWALLIS was in New York. He had liis trunk 
packed ready to sail for England, when a messenger arrived with 
the news that General Washington had crossed the Delaware and swooped 
up one thousand men ! General Cornwallis was astonished, and so was 
General Howe. They had not supposed such a thing possible. The Yan- 
kee array had dwindled to a handful of poor, half-starved men — a rabble 
of wretches destitute of every thing, and yet they had crossed the Dela- 
ware and captured a thousand of the best German troops under an old 
and experienced commander! Such audacity was amazing. It must be 
punislied, and General Cornwallis mounted his horse, and rode with all 
haste to Newark, and on to New Brunswick and Princeton, gathering up 
the troops in those places to chastise the Yankee general. 

The news of the success at Trenton filled the conntry with enthusiasm. 
The Whigs rejoiced. The Tories did not know what to think of it. Those 
who had made up their minds to take the oath of loyalty to the king con- 
cluded to wait a little, and see what would happen next. The Whigs, 
who had been desponding, plucked up courage. The militia began to 
flock into Washington's head-quarters. Congress, sitting in Baltimore, in- 
vested Washington with full powers, for six months, to raise and muster 
into service sixteen battalions of infantry, if he should need so many, and 
three thousand cavalry. That w^as well for Congress to do; but how 
would the men be paid? Some of the soldiers' time had expired, and 
Washington had no money to pay them. There was a noble man in Phila- 
delphia, Robert Morris, who had spent a great deal of money for the cause. 
The next day after the victory at Trenton he sent Washington all the hard 
money he could lay his hands on — four hundred and ten Spanish dollars, 
two English crowns, half a French crown, and ten and a half English 
shillings ! That was all ; and yet so firm was the faith of Washington, 
that he promised each soldier ten dollars bounty, in hard money, if he 
would stay six weeks longer ! He wrote to Morris what lie had promised. 


onld take fifty thonsand. Mr. Morris had no money, but lie had a 
^iiaker friend in Philadelphia who had the cash. Mr. Morris called upon 
him. "What security canst thee give, Kobert?" the Quaker asked. 

" My note and my honor." 

" Thee shall have the .money, Eobert," and the next day a messenger 
came with the fifty thousand dollars, with this note : 

" I was up early this morning to dispatch a supply of fifty thousand 
dollars to your excellency. It gives me great pleasure that you have en- 
gaged the troops to continue ; and if further occasional supplies of money 
are necessary, you may depend on my exertions, either in a public or pri- 
vate capacity." 


'No wonder Washington felt encouraged upon receiving such a note ! 
The very next day he crossed the Delaware to Trenton with his army. 
He had about ' thousand men ; but half of the number had never been 
under arms before. 

On the morning of the 2d of January, 1777, Cornwallis was at Pj'iuce- 
ton. He had gathered up eight thousand soldiers, and more were close 
at hand — ten thousand in all — and he would quickly put an end to the re- 
bellion. He started for Trenton, marching south, crossing a stone bridge 







three miles out of Trenton, by Mr. Worth's mill. He reached the httle vil- 
lage of Maidenhead by noon, and 
left General Leslie there with three 
thousand, and pressed on with the 
other five ; before night he would 
scatter the rebel army to the winds. 

General Washington knew that 
Cornwallis was on his way, and 
sent General Fermoy and General 
Stevens, w^ith Captain Forest's bat- 
tery of six guns. Colonel Hand's 
riflemen, and Colonel Scott's regi- 
ment of Virginians, to skirmish 
with the British, while he placed the main army on the south side of the 
Assanpink. (See map in preceding chapter, page 135). 

General Fermoy went out about five miles. Soon a citizen came riding- 
down the road pursued by a Hessian dragoon, with his sword flashing in 
the air. One of the riflemen raised his . rifle, there was a crack, and the 
Hessian tumbled to the ground. Soon the British skirmishers made their 
appearance, but a volley stopped them. Other British came up, and Fer- 
moy retreated two miles to a little rivulet. There he formed his men in 
the thick woods on both sides of the road. Forest planted his cannon to 
sweep the road. Cornwallis came on ; but his skirmishers were shot down. 
Cornwallis thought that Washington was intending to offer him battle 
there, and formed his army on both sides of the road, planted his cannon, 
and commenced firing. 

The troops under General Fermoy held their ground manfully. They 
kept up a rattling fire, and it took Cornwallis more than two hours to drive 
them out of the woods. Fermoy retreated nearer the town. Washington 
and Greene rode out and thanked the men for what they had done. 
Greene staid to take command of the troops, while Washington rode 
back to Trenton. He had resolved to use the Assanpink for a line of de- 
fense. There was only one bridge by the mill across the Assanpink : but 
the stream could be forded between the bridge and the Delaware, and 
above the mill-pond there was also a ford. He placed General St. Clair, 
with two guns and several regiments, to guard the upper fords, and sta- 
tioned General Knox with his cannon to sweep the bridge. 

"The bank of the Assanpink was high, and the soldiers were hard at 
work with spades, digging ditches and throwing up embankments. There 

were two breastworks, one above the other. 

Colonel Hitchcock, with some 

14:2 THE BOYS OF 76. 

Massachusetts and Rhode Island troops, were over in Trenton. General 
Washington sat on his horse and directed the troops as thej filed past him 
across the bridge. Cornwallis was pressing hard upon Greene, and the 
troops were coming down through the streets of Trenton upon the run. 

" Take position in that field instantly," said Washington to Colonel 
Hitchcock, as his troops came upon the bridge. The cannoneers stood by 
their guns with lighted port-fires ready for the British. 

Cornwallis formed his men in two columns, one to rush upon the 
bridge, the other to attack the upper ford. 

It was not wise generalship, but the British commander was burning to 
take revenge upon Washington for the disaster of Christmas night, and he 
wanted to chastise him upon the spot. 

The troops come down the street upon the run. Washington, Knox, 
and Greene are upon the bank. The infantry are behind the banks of 
earth, with their muskets cocked. The cannon are loaded with grape and 
solid shot. The match-men are waving their port-fires, to keep them burn- 
ing. The British reach the bridge. The cannon blaze, the river-side is a 
sheet of fiame, and the head of the column goes down in an instant. The 
British flee up King Street, beyond the reach of the murderous fire. 

The ofiicers swear at them — strike them with their swords. " What ! 
be driven by such a miserable rabble of countrymen, with old firelocks ? 
For shame ! Charge, and scatter them as you would a flock of slieep !" 

Once more the British rush down the street to the bridge. Washing- 
ton and Greene and Knox, the cannoneers, the infantry — all stand calmly 
waiting. Again the roar, again the discomfiture. No troops can stand 
such a concentrated fire. The British flee, and a wild hurra goes up 
from the Americans. Cornwallis hears it, and it inflames him. The 
bridge must be carried. A third time the soldiers are driven to the attack, 
but are scattered by the stream of death thrown across the bridge. 

Not willing to give up the contest so, Cornwallis looks around to see 
what he can do next. There are the fords above the mill-pond. He will 
cross there, and attack Washington's right flank. But the men under St. 
Clair are ready for him. The British march in splendid order almost to 
the bank, down which they go upon the run ; but, from up stream and 
down stream, from every bush, from every fence, from cannon and mus- 
kets, a pitiless storm bursts upon them. They fall as the leaves drop 
from the maples in the autumn. The water is crimsoned with blood. 
They flee, discomfited, up the bank, and the midwinter darkness settles 
over the scene. 

Sir William Erskine wanted Cornwallis to march up the Assanpink to 



a higher ford, cross the stream with most of the army, leaving the artillery 
and a few troops to keep Washington from crossing the bridge, and come 
down the other side of the Assanpink and attack Washington in the rear ; 
but it was almost dark, the troops were tired, and Cornwallis concluded to 
wait till morning. 

"Washington will be off somewhere else before morning,^^said Erskine. 

" That fox can't escape me : I'll catch him in the morning," said Corn- 

Both armies kindled their bivouac-fires and cooked their suppers, sep- 
arated only by the little stream. It had been a disastrous beginning for 
Cornwallis, who had lost one hundred and fifty men, w^hile Washing^ton 
had lost very few. Buc Washington was anxious about the morrow. 
While the soldiers w^ere cooking their suppers, he called his generals to- 
gether, to consult as to what was best to be done. Should they fight a 
battle there in the morning ? If so, what were the chances ? They had 
only five thousand men, and half of these were raw troops, just arrived — 
militia ; few of them had ever been in battle. Cornwallis had as large a 
force, and his troops were nearly all British — the best in the service. The 
chances were that the Americans would be defeated. Could he retreat 
down the Delaware to Bordentown, and cross the river with all his bag- 
gage and cannon, before Cornwallis could overtake him 1 Doubtful. All 
the ofiicers said so. 

But there w^as another move that could be made. Cornwallis had just 
come from Princeton. He had left a body of troops there, while at jSTew 
Brunswick there was a large supply of stores for the British army. Why 
not steal away during the night along the road leading through the little 
village of Sandtown, march to Princeton, capture every thing there, then 
push on to New Brunswick and seize the supplies ? It was a bold plan. 

"We can't get the artillery through the mud," said General Knox. 

"We can send the baggage to Bordentown, and have it ferried across 
the river before Cornwallis can overtake it," said Washington. 

The council decided that on account of the mud the plan could not 
be carried out. 

The day had been calm, not a breath of air liad stirred the twigs of 
the leafless trees; but now there came a gust of wind from the north-west, 
sweeping through the trees and rattling the windows. 

" It is going to be colder," said the ofiicers. 

The soldiers, sitting by their bivouac-fires, drew tlieir blankets around 

" We shall have a cold night," said Elijah to Esek. 




"We'll keep up a good fire," said Esek, as he pulled the rails from a 

fence, and built a rousing fire. The ground was stiffening fast, and would 

be frozen solid before morning. 

" We will go to Princeton," s^d General Washington, breaking up the 


An ofiicer came down the line, and in a whisper ordered the soldiers to 

fall in. The artillery-men harnessed their horses and started away, follow- 
ed by the soldiers. A 
man from each compa- 
ny was left to keep the 
fires burning. Elijah 
was selected, for one, to 
stay behind. H^ pulled 
the rails from the fences, 
and heaped them upon 
the fires to let the Brit- 
ish know that their an- 
tagonists were keeping 
themselves warm. 

The baggage - wag- 
ons, instead of following 
the army toward Prince- 
ton, turned off in the 
opposite direction to- 
ward Burlington. As 
soon as the baggage-men 
were beyond hearing of 
the British, they whip- 
ped up their horses, de- 
termined to reach Bur- 
lington and get the wag- 
ons ferried across the 
river before Cornwallis 
could overtake them. 

It was about mid- 
nifirht when the army 

started. Washington took a road leading through the little hamlet called 
Sandtown, north-east from Trenton. It was nearly four o'clock when Eli- 
jah and his fellow fire- tenders put their last armful of rails unon the fires, 
took their muskets, and started up !l :- ■• 3 arniy. 



Bej'Oiicl Saiidtown was a new road, cut through the woods to Prince- 
ton. It was only half finished. There were stamps and logs in it ; but . 
Washington chose to take it, for on the direct road, at Maidenhead, were 
some Biitish troops, under General Leslie, whom he wished to avoid ; but 
it was slow getting-on. 

The morning dawned clear and beautiful Washington was approach- 
ing Princeton. Just at that moment Lieutenant-colonel Mawhood, with 
the Seventeenth, Fortieth, and Fiftj-fifth regiments, which were on their 
way to re-enforce Cornwallis, and which had halted at Princeton the night 
before, started from Princeton for Trenton. Mawhood was on the old 
road, while Washington was on the new road. Mawhood was marching 
south, and Washington north. The Fifty-fifth regiment w^as in Princeton; 
the other two bad advanced to the bridge by Mr. Worth's mill. 

General AVashino;ton directed General Mercer, with three hundred and 
fifty men, mostly young men from Philadelphia, to file through the fields 
and take possession of the bridge, and to intercept any fugitives that might 
fly that way to join Cornwallis. 

Mawhood, with the' Seventeenth, had 

crossed it, and a few minutes later would _^^ .^r^=-:^ ^=;s ^^^_— _ 
have been out of sight; but it so happened ^"" ^^^^^ ^^"^_ 

that Mawhood, looking eastward, saw the —;^_ 

troops of Mercer coming through the fields 3- — -1 ^ r - ^^ 

toward the bridge. Mercer saw Mawhood's s - '^ _ ~ 

troops at the same moment. Mawhood 


148 l^liHH^Hp^' THE BOYS OF 76. 

faced his. men about, recrossed the bridge,* and starttd to gain possession 
of a hill east of the road near a house occupied by Mr. Wilham Clark. 
Mercer's men cronched down behind a rail-fence, and, as Mawhood ad- 
vanced, fired a volley. The British i-eturned it, and after two or three 
volleys, with a hurra, charged across the field. 

Mercer's troops had no bayonets; besides, the British outnumbered them 
two to one; and the Americans broke and fled in confusion. General Mer- 
cer's horse was w^ounded at the first fire, and he fought on foot. He tried 
in vain to rally his men. While attempting it, a British soldier knocked 
him down with the butt of his gun. The soldier saw that he was a gen- 
eral, and thought that he had captured Washington. 

" The rebel general is taken," he shouted. Other soldiers rushed up. 

" Call for quarter, you rebel 1" they shouted, with oaths. 

" I am not a rebel," Mercer replied, still grasping his sword. He made 
a fatal mistake in the excitement of the moment, and, stunned as he was, 
perhaps did not know w^hat he was about. He struck at them wath his 
sw^ord, and they plunged their bayonets into his body, and left him mor- 
tally wounded. 

Mawhood w^as rushing after the fieeing troops ; but suddenly found 
himself confronted by Washington's whole force. The column has been 
marching norths but now it turns from the road into the fields to the 

Captain Moulder commands a battery. His men are from Philadel- 
phia — ship-riggers, quick and active. They see the British. 

"Unlimber!" shouts Moulder, and the men wheel the cannon in a 

Mawhood sees the cannon. He is flushed with the success of the 

" Take the rebel guns !" he shouts. 

The British rush upon the cannon. "Hurra!" they shout, as if the 
victory were already won, and the cannon theirs. 

The cannon blaze, and there are wide gaps in the advancing ranks. 
Upon the run,, to supp^ t Captain Moulder, came the Ehode Island 
troops, under Co.> -e^ cock, pouring in a volley. The ship-riggers 

have rammed hoi^ -<,rtridge of grape, and the cannon blaze once 

more, and the Br^ i by the sudden appearance of Washing- 

ton's whole force, fit i, throwing away their guns. They rush 

for the bridge and crc oward Trenton. 

Washington sends \ vith a company, to destroy the bridge, 

and pushes on to Prince i before reaching the village, lie en- 


counters the Fifty-fifth regiment. The officer commanding the regiment 
has heard tlie firings and is hastening to aid Mawhood. He turns about, 
retreats to Princeton, and takes possession of the college — a large stone 
building. The soldiers fire from the windows upon the Americans. Gen- 
eral Knox plants his cannon, to riddle it with solid shot. 

The first ball crashes into the chapel, and makes a hole through the 
portrait of King George II. The Americans rush up and batter down the 
door. " Surrender !" they shout, and the British throw down their guns 
and give themselves up as prisoners. It has been a disastrous morning to 
Lord Cornwallis. He has lost altogether about four hundred men. 

To go back a little — to the moment when Mawhood is rushing upon 
Captain Moulder's guns. Cornwallis is getting ready to move up the west 
side of the Assanpink at Trenton, 'cross the stream, march through the 
•woods, and come down the other side and attack Washington, whose camp- 
fires have been burning brightly through the night ; but they are getting 
low just now, at day-break. His own soldiers are kindling theirs to cook 
their breakfasts. After breakfast he will begin the march to catch the 
" fox," as he calls General Washington. 

There does not seem to be much stir in the American camp. The sen- 
tinels are not on their posts. Has Washington taken a new position ? 
Whither can he have gone ? Down the river to Bordentown ? Possibly. 

Cornwallis hears a heavy rumbling fai* away in the north. " Can it be 
thunder ?" Impossible, for it is midwinter, and there is not a cloud in the 
sky. Sir William Erskine comprehends it. 

" It is Washington ! He is at Kew Brunswick. He has outgeneraled 

• Gradually Cornwallis comprehends it. He is astounded. Yesterday 
he toiled all day through the mud to catch the fox before he could get 
across the Delaware ; but the fox is in his rear, committing terrible havoc. 
The drums beat ; officers give hasty orders, and do a deal of swearing ; 
the troops take a quickstep ; and the outwitted general, with his five thou- 
sand men, starts for Princeton over the deep-rutted road along w^hich he 
toiled yesterday to Trenton. 

They meet Mawhood's straggling troops, and learn of the disaster of the 
morning. They rush on to Worth's : Major Kelley and his men are hack- 
ing away with their axes upon the bridge. Cornwallis mistrusts that Wash- 
ington, with his army, is in the woods on the north side of the stream, and 
moves cautiously. He unlimbers his cannon and opens fire. Major Kel- 
ley sends the last timber down stream, and then retreats. Cornwallis can 
not wait to have the bridge rebuilt. He is in great haste to get at Wash- 



ington. " Plunge in !" he shouts, and the soldiers rush into the stream. 
It is a foolish order for Lord Corhwallis to give, for nothing is gained by 
it. The wintry air is biting eold, and in five minutes the soldiers' clothes 
are frozen ; and they are so chilled that they could not fight if there were 
any fighting to be 'done. The soldiers are across, but the cannon are not, 
and the army must wait, after all, till the bridge is rebuilt. An hour is 

Across at last. Cornwallis moves on toward Princeton. Surely he 
will iind Washington there. He sends out his cavalry to reconnoitre. 
The troopers approach the town. A cannon-shot comes whizzing over 
their heads, and the report goes rolling over the hills to Worth's. Corn- 
wallis is delighted to hear it. Now he will give Washington a good drub- 
bing for outgeneraling him. The cavalry recomioitre a long while. They" 
can see the intrenchments and the cannon behind it. They form to attack 
it. With a whoop and a hurra they rush forward, and find nobody there ! 
Tlie single cannon stands there — a British gun wliich Washington had capt- 
ured, but which he could not take away. An American soldier lingering 
in Pj'inceton had determined to have some fun, and had sent the shot to- 
ward the advancing troopers, and then had fled ; but he had detained Corn- 
wallis another hour. 

He is pushing north-west — not to- 
w^ard ISTew Brunswick. It is a great 
temptation to move on to that town, 
and seize all the British stores; but 
his troops are nearly w^orn out. They 
have been without sleep for thirty-six 
hours, have eaten nothing since their 
supper on the Assanpink, have fought 
two battles, and made a rapid night- 
march over the frozen ground. They 
have no overcoats ; some have no 
shoes, and are marching with rags 
bonnd around their feet. Cornwal- 
lis will soon be upon him, with his 
whole army. Tempting the prize, 
but too great the risk. Prudence 
will be valor now. He turns north- 
west, and marches eighteen miles 
from Princeton to the town of Pluckemin, before halting. 

It is a weary march. The soldiers -^^'^ foot-sore, hungry, exhausted. 

Precious liours to Washington ! 



Some drop from the ranks, and fall asleep in a moment npon the frozen 
ground. Mile after mile they drag themselves along. Some are dressed 
in rags, but the people are kind to them. Little children give them bread, 
glad to do so much for those who have fought so bravely, and receive in 
return a kind " God bless you !" 

Washington breaks down the bridges behind him. At midnight he 
allows the troops to halt. A great day's march they have made — a great 
day's work have they done for liberty ! 

Cornwallis arrives at Princeton, finds Washington gone, fears that he 
is at jN'ew Brunswick, and hastens on. He finds his supplies are safe ; but 
he is chagrined at being so completely outgeneraled. 

Washington moves north to Morristown, and there, amidst the hills, 
where nearly all the people are patriots, builds log- huts, and goes into 
winter-quarters ; while Cornwallis and Howe, who begin to respect Mister 
Washington, as they have called him, gather in their scattered detachments 
to Kew Brunswick and New York, and settle down for the winter. Gen- 
eral Howe likes good dinners and good^. wines and a game of cards. He 
will let the troops rest till winter is ov^r ; but when summer comes, he 
will speedily crush the rebellion. 

3 52 





GENERAL BURGOYNE, in October, 1776, after the destraction of 
the American flotilla on Lake Champlain, hastened to England. He 
had thought out a plan by which the rebellion could be crushed, and laid 
it before Lord North and Lord Germaine. It was to send a large army 
to Canada, and from thence through Lake Champlain to Ticonderoga, capt- 
ure that place, and push on to the Hudson. 
At the same time another army was to ascend 
the Hudson from New York; they would 
meet at Albany. These movements would 
sever New England from the other colonies ; 
it would be like cutting the head from the 
body. New England started the rebellion, 
and if it were separated from the other colo- 
nies, the rebellion would soon come to an end. 

The ministry .and the king favored the 
plan ; it was reasonable ; the invading armies 
could go almost the entire distance by water; 
there would only be a short march from Lake 
Champlain to the Hudson ; Canada was loyal,.- 

and all the horses, wagons, and forage necessary could be obtained at 
Quebec and Montreal. More, the Canadians would enlist, and the Lidians. 
It was • an excellent plan, the ministers thouglit ; and they began ^t once 
to make preparations, and appointed General Burgoyne commander of the 

In April, 1777, as soon as the ice was out of the St. Lawrence, a great 
fleet sailed up that noble river to Quebec, and from there to Montreal. 
General Buro-oyne sent out runners to all the Indian tribes, to have the 
warriors come and join their great father, the king, in putting down the 
Bosto^h men, as the Indians called tlie Americans. He bought horses, oats, 
and other supplies, and set the Canadian carpenlsrs to making boats,, carts. 




and wagons at St. Johns. The Indians gathered there, set up their wig- 
wams on the bank of tlie river, or slept at night under their birch canoes. 

ST, JOHNS, 1776. 

One feature of Bnrgoyne's plan was to have a portion of his army go 
up the St. Lawrence to Lake Ontario, across the lake to Osw^ego, up the 
Osw^effo Eiver to the Mohawk, take Fort SchiiTler on that stream, and 
then go down the Mohawk and meet him and the army from Xew York 
at Albany. 

Such^a movement would secure all the Indians of Western ISTew York 
to the king. They w^ould be at home, on their own groimd, and would 
soon drive all the AVhigs out of the Mohawk Yalley. Many Tories lived 
there. Sir John Johnson, from Johnstown; Colonel Butler and a great 
many other Tories, who had fled from their homes, would go with the 
expedition, and enlist all the friends of the king in the Mohawk Yalley. 

This expedition was commanded by Colonel St. Leger. He had some 
British troops, a regiment of Canadians, commanded by Sir John John- 
son, which wore a uniform trimmed with green, and so the troops w^ere 
called the "Johnson Greens." There was another regiment, under Colonel 
Butler; and the Indians, with Thayendanegea, or " Bundle of Sticks," at 
their head. In all, St. Leger had about two thousand men. , The expedi- 
tion started from Montreal. 



Having sent Colonel St. Leger away, Bnrgoyne came from St. Johns 
to the island Aux IN'oix, where he issued a pompous address to the array. 


" This array ranst not retreat," he said. Great 
generals are just as ready to retreat as to advance, if 
they see that victory lies in that direction. King Al- 
fred, Frederick the Great, ISTapoleon, Wellington, Washington, and a great 
many other generals have known how to retreat. None of them ever 
made such an address to their armies. 

Burgoyne's boats were ready, his provisions on board ; and the first week 
in June, the great army, numbering between nine and ten thousand, with 
a great park of artillery, sailed frora the island into Lake Charaplain, 
moving south to Crown Point. Arriving there, four, hundred Indians 





joined the army, with war-paint on their faces, and eagles' feathers in their 
hair, ready to steal out into the country and tomahawk the peaceful inhab- 

On the 21st of June, Burgoyne gave them a great feast on the shore of 
tlie ]ake near Crown Point. He was dressed in his sliowy uniform, and so 
were all his officers. The Indians painted their faces, 
and rigged themselves out in all their finery. Gen- 
eral Burgoyne made a grand speech. 

"Go," said he, "in the might of your valor and 
your cause. Strike at the common enemies of Great 
Britain and America; disturbers of public order, 
peace, and happiness; destroyers of commerce and 
parricides of state. I positively forbid bloodshed 
when you are not opposed in arms. Aged women 
and children and prisoners must be held sacred from 
the knife and hatchet, even in time of conflict. You 
shall be paid for the prisoners you take, but you will 
be called to account for scalps. You will be allow- 
ed to take the scalps of the dead, when killed by you in opposition ; but 
on no account or pretense are they to be taken from the wounded, or even 
the dying." 

General Burgoyne might as well have addressed a pack of wolves. 
When the news reached England that Burgoyne had employed the 
Indians, Edmund Burke made a 
speech in regard to it in Parlia- 
ment. He said : 

" Suppose there was a riot on 
Tower Hill. What would the 
keeper of his majesty's lions do? 
Would he not fling open the doors 
of the wild beasts, and address them 
thus, 'My gentle lions, my hu- 
mane bears, my tender-hearted hy- 
enas, go forth ! but I exhort you, as 
you are Christians and members 
of civilized society, to take care 
and not hurt any man, woman, or 
child.' '^ 

Mr. Burke supposed that Gen- 
eral Burgoyne had employed the 




Indians of his own accord, and did not know that Lord North and Lord 
Germaine had especially instructed him to employ the savages. Lord 
North was present, and laughed till the tears ran down his cheeks, while 
Mr. Burke pictured the scene, laying all the blame on Burgoyne. 

An old chief, with his face covered with war-paint, replied to Bur- 

" We receive you as our father, for when you speak we hear the voice 
of our Great Father beyond the great waters. Our hatchets are sharp- 
ened on our affections. We promise obedience." 


It was all very fair for the old chief to promise it ; but the people in 
Vermont, who had fought the Indians twenty years before, knew how lit- 
tle reliance could be placed on such promises ; and many of them packed 
up their goods and started, with their families, to cross the Green Mount- 
ains to the Connecticut Yalley. 

Soldiers were wanted to stop Burgoyne, and Dodifer buckled on his 
knapsack once more, shouldered his gun, and marched to Ticonderoga, on 
Lake Champlain. He had stopped a night there, on his return from 

The fort stands at the outlet of Lake George. The French built a for- 
tification there in 1775, and called it Fort Carillon ; but the Indians called 



tlie place Cheoiicleroga, meaning sounding waters^ which soon became 

A great deal of fighting had been done in the region from 1755 to '59. 
Putnam, Stark, and a great many others who were now fighting the Brit- 
ish, had fought the French and Indians there. General Howe's brother 
liad been killed there. Many of the British officers now fighting the 
Americans had fought there side by side with Putnam and Stark. Gen- 
ei-al Amherst took it from the French in '59, and the English had made 
it a strong fortification. Ethan Allen, with a company of Green Mount- 


ain boys, had seized it on the 10th of May, 1775, astonishing the British 
officers in command by demanding the surrender in the name of " Con- 
gress and the Great Jehovah." General Knox had dragged a large num- 
ber of the cannon to Boston in February, '76, and Dodifer had rammed 
home many a ball into the eighteen-pounders on Winter Hill. But now 
other cannon w^ere mounted on the parapets, and General St. Clair, who 
was in command, was maki ig preparations to give Burgojme a warm re- 
ception. He had about two thousand five hundred men ; but about nine 
hundred soldiers from ^N'ew Hampshire and Massachusetts came to aid 




him, making his force three thousand four hundred. St. Clair was con- 
iident that Burgovne would not be able to take the fort. He built a great 
boom of timber across the nari'ow jDart of the lake, opposite the fort, and 
erected another fort on a high hill, called Mount Independence, on the 
Vermont side. It was called Mount Independence, from the fact that the 
Declaration of Independence was read to the soldiers on the top of the 
mountain in '76, the soldiers having swung their hats and cheered lustily 
at the conclusion of the reading'. 


Dodifer was once more with the army at Ticonderoga. He was a ser- 
geant now, and went out with a scou ting-party one day toward Chimney 

Point, opposite Crown Point, to see what 
Purgoyne was doing. He came across a 
Tory who was distributing a proclamation 
to the people. General Burgoyne had writ- 
ten it at Montreal, It was a printed docu- 
ment, and General Burgoyne expected that 
it would strike terror to the hearts of tlie 
people in the Few Hampshire Grants, as 
Vermont w^as then called. The soldiers 
gath ' -^diile Dodifer read it. Thus 

it be . 



"^2/ John Burgoyne^ Esq^uire^ Lieutenant-general of His Majesty^ s 
Forces in America^ Colonel of the Queen'' s Hegiment of Light Dragoons^ 
Governor of Fort William^ in North Britain j one of the Commons 
of Great Britain in Parliament, and Commanding an Army and Fleet 
emjfloyed on an Ex])edition froin CanadaP 

" Any more titles ?" a soldier asked. 

The proclamation described the army, how powerful it was, and magni- 
fied the number of Indians. General Burgoyne said : 

" I have but to give stretch to the Indian forces under ray direction 
— and they amount to thousands — to overtake the hardened enemies of 

The proclamation threatened terrible consequences npon all who would 
not submit. The soldiers were not in the least frightened by the procla- 
mation, but took the Tory to the fort a prisoner. 

On the 1st of July Burgoyne was ready to move. The Indians went 
through the woods along the western shore of the lake toward the fort, 
while the British and Hessians, about eight thousand, embarked once more, 
and sailed up the lake. 

The American soldiers, from the top of Mount Independence, could 
see far down the lake. They beheld the boats, one after another, come 
round a point of land in grand procession. There were so many boats 
that the lake seemed black with them. The bright uniforms, the flags, 
the forest of bayonets gleaming in the sun, the dipping of the oars, made 
it a grand spectacle. 

The British landed on the ]N"ew York side north of the fort, pitched 
their tents, and advanced and took possession of the road leading to Lake 
George. Lieutenant Twiss, the chief-engineer of Burgoyne's army, looked 
at Mount Defian ^^ saw that it was much higher than Ticonderoga, 

and, although th( n was steep and rugged, he thought that cannon 

might be dragge )p. General Fraser set his soldiers to work dur- 

ing the night, a morning they had a path to the top; but when 

tlie sun rose th* rk, and lay still in the woods through the day. 

The next night ;rs were at it again, and, under the light of the 

full moon, drag : \ cannon to the top, and placed them in position 

to pour a fire d- he fort. 

It was Dod 1 to stand guard on that night. The moon was 

full, and its b( ht fell upon the mountain and reflected its shad- 

ows from the i air was calm ; not a ripple disturbed the water. 

In the fort ig was hushed in silence. All except the sentinels 



Or A^?^ ^j^^^~ 


were aslt^ep. Dodifer could hear confused noises from the British camp, 
and wondered what was going on. The morning dawned, and as the h'ght 
streamed up the east he saw that the top of Mount Defiance was swarm- 
ing with British troops. General St. Clair came out from his quarters and 
beheld the scene with amazement. He saw that, having neglected to for- 
tif}^ that poir>E, the fort was of no account. He mu?t evacuate it at once. 
But as the i British could see all that was going on :n the fort, he could 
make no movement till night. 

General Fraser was not quite ready to open fire, a\id the day passed 
quietly ; but when night came every body was astir in the fort. All hands 
were set to work loading bateaux with provisions and ammunition. St. 
Cla r had two hundred bateaux, besides some armed galleys. The boats, 
as fast as loaded, started up the lake toward Skenesborinigh (Whitehall). 
To make the British think that he w^as going to stand a siege. General St. 
Clair ordered the cannon to open fire upon Mount Defiance. 




Dodifer laid down liis mnsket, and helped load and fire the great tliirty- 
two-pounder. They elevated the muzzle 
of the gun so as to send the ball plump 
upon the top of the mountain. That 
made it easy loadmg. 

Dodifer rammed home the cartridge, 
then a soldier put the heavy thirty-two- 
pound ball into the muzzle of the gun, 
and Dodifer pushed it down with the 
rammer. While he was doing this an- 
other soldier primed the gun : then all 
stood back while one touched it off. The 
gun-carriage would almost leap from the 
ground, and the report went rolling up 
and down the lake and out over the hills, 
and then as they listened they could hear the ball crash against the rocks, 
or tear its w^ay through the trees, making it decidedly uncomfortable to 
the British on the mountain. 

The soldiers in the fort packed their knapsacks with provisions, and 
their cartridge-boxes with powder. It was about three o'clock when they 
left the fort and crossed the bridge to the Yermont side. 

As Dodifer crossed the bridge he could see signs of approaching day. 
General St, Clair had given strict orders against setting any of the build- 
ings on fire ; but suddenly the top of Mount Independence was all ablaze. 
General Fermoy, in command there, disobeyed the order, and set the bar- 
i-acks on fire. The British on Mount Defiance could see all that w-as going 
on : their drums beat the lono- roll, and the British and Hessians spruno; to 
their arms to be ready to make pursuit. 

It was nearly four o'clock when Dodifer, who was in the rear-guard, 
under Colonel Francis, started from the foot of Mount Independence. 
The army was retreating to Castleton, in Yermont. Besides i is gun, Dod- 
ifer had cartridge-box and bullet-pouch filled with powder auLl balls, and 
his knapsack with provisions. He had his blanket — in all nearly sixty 
pounds, that he staggered under. All day long, through the hot midsum- 
mer sun, he marched, reaching Hubbardton, eighteen miles from Ticonde- 
roga, at night. 

Every body was in motion in General Burgoyne's army. Some of the 
soldiers rushed into the fort, others went to work with axes cutting away 
the bridge and the boom, and long before noon the British gun-boats were 
past the obstruction, and, with all sail spread, were hastening to capture the 






bateaux of General St. Clair. Before night the gun-boats came up with 

them near Skenesborough- 

The crews, seeing the Brit- 

^^ ish boats close upon them, 

^^^ ran them ashore, set them 

-^ "^ffi^ ^^ fi^^j ^1^^ fisd to Fort 


So the fortress, which 
every body supposed would 
be an insuperable barrier 
to Burgojne, had fallen in 
a night, and there was noth- 
ing to hinder his advance to 
Albany, except a few hundred 
troops under General Schuyler at 
Fort EdAvard. 

The news w^as carried by messengers to 
Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. Ev- 
ery body was astounded. General "Washing- 
ton was at Philadelphia, watching General 
Howe. This was what he wrote to Gen- 
eral Schuyler: 

" The evacuation of Ticonderoga is an 
event of chagrin and surprise not apprehended, nor within the compass of 
my reasoning." 

When the evacuation took place, the people of K'ew England were 
turning out by the thousand to oppose Burgoyne. Some companies were 
almost at Ticonderoga; but now they turned sadly about and marched 
home. It was a disheartening day that 5th of July, 1777. 

But there was more disheai'tening news for the country to hear. Col- 
onel Francis, with his own Massachusetts regiment. Colonel Seth Warner's 
regiment of Green Mountain Boys, and Colonel Hale's New Hampshire 
regiment, spent their first night at Hubbardton. Dodifer had not slept a 
wink for forty- eight hours. He eat his supper, spread his blanket under 
a tr-ee in a wheat-field, and soon was sound asleep, with his knapsack for a 
pillow. Colonel Francis did not know that General Eraser, with a portion 
oi the British troops, and General Reidesel, with the Hessians, were in pur- 
suit of him. Quite likely he thought that Burgoyne would take his whole 
army by water to Skenesborough. But there were a large number of 
Tories from Skenesborough, and the towns in New York and Yermont, 



with General Burgoyne. Major Skene liimself, who lived at Skeneshor- 
ongh, had joined Burgoyne, and was giving all the information possible, 
and doing what he could to help Burgoyne conquer his fellow-countrymen. 
Some of the Tories who knew all the roads were acting as guides to Gen- 
eral Fraser, who marched late into the night. General Fraser was inform- 
ed that the rear-guard, under Colonel Francis, had halted at Hubbardton, 
and laid his plans to surprise and capture it. With the light -infantry he 
pressed on till he was within three miles of Hubbardton, when he halted 
and allowed his men to rest till three o'clock, and then started again. 

It was sunrise on the morning of the 6th of August. The drummer had 
beaten the reveille, and the American soldiers had risen from their beds 
on the ground. Some were folding up their blankets, some washing their 
faces in a little brook. Others were kindling fires to cook their breakfast 
and light their pipes. Dodifer was getting ready to eat breakfast, when 
there was the crack of a gun, fired by one of the pickets. Then another, 
and another. A picket suddenly discovered a red-coat standing on a big 
rock, and looking around to see what he could discover. The picket fired 
at him, and the soldier rolled from the rock, a dead man ; but behind him 
were other British soldiers, and now it was discovered that General Fraser, 
with the light-infantry, was upon them. 

Dodifer quit his breakfast, seized his gun, and every body else did the 
same. " Fall in !" shouted Colonel Francis, and in a moment the soldiers 
fell into line. Colonel Francis had about thirteen hundred men ; but some 
were sick, others were stragglers that had been picked up on the way. 
General Fraser had about eight hundred of the best soldiers in Burgoyne's 
army, and General Beidesel was coming with as many Hessians. 

General Fraser was forming his lines to make an attack; but Colonel 
Francis did not wait for him.' He marched through the wheat-field, and 
fell upon the British. The fight began along a little brodl^, partly in the 
field and partly in the woods. Colonel Francis was a brave officer, and so 
was Colonel Warner, and they commanded brave men. The men in War- 
ner's regiment were fighting for their homes, for many of them lived in 
that region. 

General Fraser was also a brave officer, the ablest in Burgoyne's army 
— abler than Burgoyne himself. In all England there were no better sol- 
diers than those with him at that moment. They were under excellent 
discipline ; but they found their match in the undisciplined troops in front 
of them. 

Colonel Francis advanced boldly to meet the British, and in a few mo- 
ments there was a terrific fire. Dodifer saw a battalion of red-coats come 



out from the woods. The rays of the rising sun fell in their fa( 
were reflected from their bright buckles, gun-barrels, and bayonet 
yond the red uniforms was a dark background of shadows under , 
forest - trees. He took deliberate aim, as did his comrades, and n 
British soldier fell nnder their withering fire. For nearly an hour tL 
raged, when the British gave way, and the Americans were masters 
field ; but only for a moment, for just then the Hessian drum-bei 
heard, and General Reidesel appeared, with his banners waving i 

morning air. He quickly formed his men^ and the British, who had retreat- 
ed, now came back to renew the battle. 

The Tories with General Fraser told him that the only road by which 
the Americans could retreat was one leading south-west to Skenesborough. 
He at once sent the Earl of Balcarris, with the grenadiers, to take posses- 
sion of it, and to fall upon the left flank of the Americans. At the same 
time General Reidesel attacked the right flank. 

It is possible that the Americans would ha-se remained masters of the 
field even now, had not the stragglers and the men in Colonel Hale's regi- 



ment retreated when they saw the British in possession of the road. A 
panic seized them, and they fled up a steep hill-side into the woods. Many 
were so frightened that they threw away their guns atid every thing else. 

Dodifer saw the grenadiers come up the road, to attack Colonels 
Francis and Warner in the rear. At the same moment the Hessians 
came down upon the right, and Fraser, with the light-infantry, charged 
in front. He saw Colonel Francis fall mortally wounded. The line gave 
way as a dam breaks in a freshet, and every body ran. Dodifer was too 
old a soldier to throw away his gun or knapsack, or any thing else, till 
obhged to. He had not toiled through the woods to Quebec for nothing. 
He had no intention of throwing away his dinner. He made his way up 
the steep hill-side, with the bullets whistling about him and the British in 
pursuit, but, with the others, made his way through the woods, and reached 


It was a terrible blow. More than one hundred had been killed and 
wounded, some had been taken prisoners — in all, more than three hundred 
w^ere lost. The little army was scattered and disheartened. 

But General Fraser had not won his victory without loss. N^early two 
hundred British and Hessians had been killed or wounded in the short but 
desperate battle. 





I^ICHOLAS DOLOFF was on the march once more. Men were 
-*-^ needed to check Burgoyne, and he shouldered his gun and started. 
He marched to Albany, where the troops were gathering under General 




He found that Albany was a queer old town. It was settled by the 
Dutch. Many of the houses were built of brick, which they had brought 
from Holland. The buildings stood with their gables toward the street. 

The old Dutch burghers took life easy, smoking their pipes and drink- 
ing beer, and talking with their friends. In the warm summer evenings 
the round-faced Dutch girls used to sit beneath the porches of the queer 
old houses, and chat with the young mynheers of the town. 

Troops were wanted to drive back Colonel St. Leger at Fort Schuyler 
up the Mohawk. During the French and Indian war it was called Fort 
Stanwix; but it had been changed to Schuyler in honor of General 
Schuyler, who lived at Albany, 
and who was in command of the 
Northern Military Department, 
doing what he could to stop Bur- 

l^icholas and his fellow -sol- 
diers were marching to stop Col- 
onel St. Leger, whom Burgoyne 
had sent from Montreal up the 
St. Lawrence and through Lake 
Ontario to Oswego. St. Leger 
was to attack Fort Schuyler, and 
then sweep down the valley of 
the Mohawk, and join him at 
Albany. It would not be a dif- 
ficult journey for St. Leger, for 

he could take all his cannon and supplies by water up the Oswego River, 
through Oneida Lake, almost to the fort. When he had captured the 
fort, he could drag his boats a short distance to the Mohawk, and descend 
that stream to Albany. 

Colonel St. Leger was accompanied by Sir John Johnson, son of Sir 
William Johnson, who defeated Dieskau at Lake George in 1755, whose 
home was at Johnson Hall, in the valley of the Mohawk. Sir John had 
fled to Canada in 1776, and had enlisted a regiment of Canadians and 
Tory Americans, who wore coats trimmed with green, and so were called 
" Johnson Greens." 

Another officer with Colonel St. Leger was Colonel John Butler, who 
had enlisted a regiment of Tories, most of them citizens of the Mohawk 
Yalley, who had fled to Canada. Another Tory ofiicer was Colonel Daniel 
Clous, a son of Sir William Johnson, but whose mother was an Indian. 




Besides, these, Colonel St. Leger had the Mohawk chief, Joseph Brant, 
who§e Indian name was Thayendanegea, and whose mother Sir William 
took for one of his wives. (Thajendanegea means, in English, "Bun- 
dle of Sticks.") He had been 
educated by Eev. Mr. Wheelock, 
at Lebanon, Connecticut, who 
taught Indian children, and who 
started Dartmouth College, in 
]S"ew Hampshire, as an Indian 
school. The young chief could 
speak good English, and had been 

trying to educate his tribe. He 
had accepted the Christian relig- 
ion, and was a missionary inter- 
preter to the good Mr. Kirkland, 
who preached in a little meeting- 
house near Johnson Hall; but Sir 
John had espoused the king's side 
in the war, and it w^as quite natu- 
ral that Bundle of Sticks should 
take the same side. More, he liad been to England, and had been made 
much of by Sir John's friends in high life. Bundle of Sticks i^ad in- 
fluenced the Indians, and all the tribes, except the Oneidas, had agreed 






to take the war-patli against the " Boston men," as they called the Amer- 

St. Leger had in all seventeen, with several cannon, and 

an abundant supply of provisions. A great many of his soldiers had their 

homes in tlie vicinity of Fort Schuyler, and they were going to figlit their 

old neighbors and friends. 

The first night after leaving -Albany, Nicholas and his fellow-soldiers 

camped at Schenectady ; the second night 

they readied Johnson Hall, the house built - - s — c-- 

by Sir William, and where he used to en- 

tertain the Indian chiefs and distribute 

trinkets to the braves and squaws, and from 

which Sir John had fled the year before. 

The house was built in 1760. It was sixty 

feet long and forty wide, and two stories 

liigh. The walls were thick, and there were 

.loop-holes around the eaves through which 

it would be easy to fire upon an enemy 

outside. There were two stone buildings 

near by, with loop-holes in the walls. Although the Indians were friendly 

TO Sir William, he had taken the precaution to make his buildings forts, 

for there was no knowing what might happen. Sir John had fled from 

the place the year before with Brant and Colonel John Butler, and Walter 

Butler, a son of John, who lived in a small house down the valley. 

The next day, Nicholas passed the church in which Mr. Kirkland 

preached, and where Bundle of Sticks used to listen to his sermons and 

intei'pret them to the Indians. After passing the meeting-house, they 

^"-^ came to a large brick house, the residence of Gen- 

^pj "^^P^^ eral Herkimer, who welcomed them heartily. They 

^^p' found the militia of the country, nearly eight hun- 

dred in number, quartered there, for the citizens 
knew that St. Leger was on his way, and would 
soon be in the valley, and they had turned out to 
defend their homes. We shall hear more about his 
neighbors by-and-W. 

Beyond General Herkimer's the soldiers came 
to a place called Little Falls, where the river has 
worn a narrow channel through a great ridge of 
rocks, over which it leaps, whirls, and tumbles in a 



frightful manner. 

The bagii^ao^e of the reo^iment 



and a lot of supplies for Fort Schuyler had been taken along in boats ; but 
here the soldiers had to unload them, carry them past the falls, and reload 


The next camping-place was at " German Flats," settled by Germans 
in 1720, where there was a stone meeting-house. The next day they halt- 
ed at a place called Oriskany, where a little creek joined the Mohawk, 
and where the road ran through a ravine, once a causeway made of logs, a 
place which we shall visit again farther on. 

Just before sunset, Nicholas looked across a field and saw the fort 
which he had come to defend situated opposite a bend in the river. The 
gates opened, and he and his fellow-soldiers marched in, glad to be at their 
journey's end. The soldiers in the fort set up a shout of joy ; for that very 

afternoon, the 2d of August, Bundle 
of Sticks and his Indians, and Lieu- 
tenant Bird with a British flag, the ad- 
vance column of St. Leger's army, had 
^- made their appearance, and St. Leger 

was not far off. At that very moment 
they could hear the British drums, and 
in a short time the red-coats and Hes- 
sians, and the Johnson Greens and To- 
ries, were seen coming across the plain 
north-west of the fort. 

Colonel Gansevoort commanded the 
fort, and had a brave ofiicer with hi'tn, 
Colonel Willett, and about one thousand 
men. They had provisions enough for 
six weeks, and plenty of ammunition 






for the muskets, but lacked cannon-balls. He saw that the fort was strong, 
and was coniident that St. Leger never could make much impression on 

the thick earth embankments. He 
felt very sure that they could success- 
fully defend it. 

Colonel Gansevoort had no flag; 
but soon contrived to make one by 
cutting up some shirts for the white 
stripes, and some flannel for the red 
stripes. He lacked the blue for the 
fleld of stars, but Captain Swartwout 
had a blue cloak. 

" Here, take it," said the captain. 
Colonel Gansevoort accepted it, 
cut out a large square piece, sewed 
the stars and stripes to it, nailed the 
flag to a pole, and raised it above the 
fort, and was ready for St. Leger. 
That oflicer had marched up in grand style from Lake Oneida. He 
gave the Indians, under Brant, the post of honor, with the British flag at 
their head. Then came sixty Tory sharp-shooters, led by Captain Watts ; 
then Colonel John Butler wdth his Tories, and Sir John Johnson with 
the Johnson Greens; and then the Eiglith and Thirty-fourth British reg- 
iments, and the Hessians, followed by the artillery and baggage. His 
drums were beating and colors flying. Perhaps he thought to frighten 
the Americans ; but they were not 
so easily frightened. 

A British oflicer with a white 
flag approached the fort. Colonel 
Gansevoort sent out an oflicer to 
see what he wanted, and found 
that he had brought a proclama- 
tion very much like the one which 
Burffovne had sent out from Lake 
Champlain, offering clemency to 
all who would lay down their 

arms, but declarina; terrible veno-e- 
ance upon all who would not. 
The soldiers read the proclama- 
tion, and laughed at it. colonel makinus willett. 




iew over the fort, 
but no soldier was harm- 
ed. During the day the 
Indians crept up through 
the grass, on their hands 
and knees, and wounded 

The next 
St. Leger got 
lerj into position, and 
began to cannonade the 
fort. The balls struck 
into the earth -walls, 
two or three men ; but Nicholas and his comrades soon stopped that fun. 
They kept close w^atch through the loop-holes, and a half-dozen fired as 
soon as they saw the Hash of an Indian's gun, and the savages went back 
quicker than they came. 

" While this was going on, Colonel Gansevoort sent word to General 
Herkimer that the attack had begun. General Herkimer marched the 
next day, the 5th of August, with his eight hundred men. The messen- 
gers started back to the fort with the news that Herkimer was coming. 
Herkimer reached Oriskany, eight miles from the fort, before noon, and 
halted. He was a prudent man. He thought that if St. Leger knew he 
was on his way, tlie British ifl^mander might get between him and the 
fort, and attack him at a disadvantage. He had sent word to Gansevoort 
to lire three guns the moment the messenger arrived, and he halted to 
hear the guns, for then Gansevoort would act in concert with him. If St. 
Leger left to attack him, Gansevoort would make a sortie on St. Leger. 

But the officers and men were impatient of the delay ; they w^anted to 
push on. Colonel Cox and Colonel Paris urged him to hasten forward. 
They accused him of being a coward. That was hard to bear. 

" I am placed over you as a father and guardian, and shall not lead, 
you into difficulties from which I may not be able to extricate you," Her-' 
kimer replied. 

That did not satisfy the impatient men. 


" You are a Tory," said Cox. ' -^ 

That was a sharp sting. Cox and his fellow-colonels were next in com- 
mand, and Plerkimer saw that to delay any longer would have a disas- 
trous effect upon the men. 

" March on !" he shouted. 

Well would it have been for Colonel Cox and many of the impatient 
men if they had heeded the wise plan of General Herkimer. 

"If we are attacked," said he, "you who accuse me of being a cow- 
ard will be the first to run." 

The column moved on. General Herkimer made a mistake in not 
sending pickets in advance, and we shall soon see what happened for want 
of such prudence. The men marched without order, not dreaming that 
they might be attacked. 

The Tories with St. Leger knew that Herkimer was on his way, and 
St. Leger sent Bundle of Sticks, Butler, and Captain Watts, with about 
twelve hundred men, to surprise him. Nicholas, from the parapet of the 
fort, saw the Indians and Tories move down the river, and wondered 
where they were going. The messenger sent by Herkimer had not then 
arrived. It was noon when he came. He had taken a roundabout course 
to elude the Indians. 

" Fire three cannon as quick as you can, for Herkimer is on the march, 
and will cut his way through. He wants a sortie made from the fort at 
once," said the messenger. 

The soldiers gave a huri'a. All hands were ready to go. But a dark 
cloud had been rising in the west, and the lightnings were flashing and 
thunder rolling, and the rain soon fell in torrents. When the shower was 
over the gates opened, and Colonel Willett, with two hundred and fiftv 
men and a cannon, started out, moved rapidly across the field, and rimde 
a furious attack upon the Johnson Greens, lite ^British, and the Hessians. 
The attack w^as so sudden, so unexpected and furious, that the enemy fled 
in all directions. Nicholas and his comrades gave a hurra, and rushed 
into the Tory camp. Sir John Johnson tried for a moment to rally his 
men, but soon found that he must take to his heels, or be captured. He 
had no time to put on his coat. Nicholas and his comrades seized all the 
plunder that was visible, then rushed upon the Indian camp, set fire to the 
wigwams, and chased the Indians into the woods. In a few minutes, be- 
fore St. Leger could get his troops imder arms, they had seized twenty-one 
wagon -loads of clothing, provisions, and ammunition — taken five British 
standards, all of Sir John's baggage, his writing-desk and papers, and were 
back in tlie fort again without losing a man. They raised the standard on 



the parapet beneath the stars and stripes, so tliat St. Leger could see them, 
and hurraed louder than ever. 

General Herkimer had reached the ravine at Oriskany. His men 
were crossing the causeway. Just at that place the road ran nearly south, 
and there was a hill covered with beeches and maples on the west side. 
The soldiers were marching without any order, never mistrusting that the 
hill was swarming with Tories and Indians. Suddenly there was a wild 
yell, the rattle of guns, and the balls came pouring down upon them. Col- 
onel Cox, who had charged Herkimer with being a coward and a Tory, fell 
dead. The column was thrown into confusion. It was a terrible moment. 
Men were falling, but no one was to be seen. The yells came from all 
quarters, the bullets also. Those in the rear fled in an instant toward Fort 
Herkimer, leaving their comrades to fight the battle alone. 



A moment later, Herkimer, who was on horseback, received a ball 
throug^h one of his leo;s. He was taken from his horse. 

" Take off the saddle," he said. 

A soldier took it off, and placed it on the ground under a tree. The 
brave man sat down in it, 

''Now, fight!" he said, and encouraged his men, telling them to get 
behind the trees. They were surrounded, and could not escape. They 
saw the Indians scalping the dead, recognized some of their old neighbors 


among the Tories, and resolved to fight to the bitter end. They saw the 
brave old man whom they had accused of being a coward, with his leg 
shattered and bleeding, take out his tinder-box, light his pipe, and com- 
mence smoking as calmly as if sitting beneath the porch of his old home. 
That put them to the blush. They plucked up heart, loaded their guns, 
took deliberate aim, and picked off the Indians and Tories as if they were 
so many wolves and foxes. 

While the battle had been going on, deep and heavy thunder had been 
rolling overhead, and the rain began to fall. I^either party could load 
their guns while it was raining. During the shower Herkimer re-arranged 
his men. He formed them in a circle, told them to take their stand be- 
hind the large trees — two men to a tree. He had noticed that the Indians, 
after a soldier had fired, would rush up with their hatchets, and kill him 
while he was reloading his gun. 

" One fire, and the other keep watch," said Herkimer. 

The battle began, again. The Indians tried their old game. 

A soldier fired. An Indian rushed forward to bury his hatchet in the 
soldier's skull, but the next moment fell headlong with a bullet through 
his own skull. 

The Tory leader thoiight that he could capture Herkimer by stratagem. 
He sent one of his companies to the rear, told the men to turn their coats 
inside out to hide the green facings, and come as Americans from the fort 
to aid Herkimer. 

Soon there was a cry among the Tories that the Americans from the 
fort were close at hand. The turn -coats came down the road, breaking 
through the Tory lines. They were close upon Herkimer, when Captain 
Gardiner recognized an old Tory neighbor, and the Americans poured a. 
volley into the ranks of their pretended friends. So that game could not 
be played. More than half of Herkimer's npn were killed or wounded ; 
but still the}^ fought on, never thinking of giving in. They had picked off 
nearly one hundred Indians. The Indians wanted to take scalps, but could 
not get up to the wounded without themselves being shot. Suddenly a 
panic seized them. 

" Oonah ! oonah !" was the cry which the Americans heard, and in an 
instant the Indians were gone. The panic seized the Tories, and they too 
fled, leaving their killed and wounded. More than two hundred of the 
Indians and Tories had fallen, and more than four hundred of the Ameri- 
cans. The brave general was carried" down the river to his own home, 
where he died a few days later. He had fought one of the bravest battles 
of the war, and was victor. 





The Tories and Indians made their way back to camp to find that their 

baggage was inside the fort. It 
was not comforting to think that 
they had been defeated, and had 
lost their baggage while absent. 

The next morning a British 
officer approached the fort with a 
flag, having a letter for Colonel 
Gansevoort, written by Lieutenant- 
colonel Billings and Major Frey, 
who had been captured at Oriska- 
ny, in which they urged Colonel 
Gansevoort to surrender, for Gen- 
eral Herkimer had been utterly 
defeated. Colonel Gansevoort had 
no idea of surrendering, and a few 
days later learned that the officers had to choose between writing the letter 
and being shot. 

The officer demanded the surrender of the fort. 

" Tell Colonel St. Leger," said Gansevoort, " that I do not accept a ver- 
bal summons to surrender." 

The next morning, Colonel John Butler and two British officers ap- 
peared before the fort with a flag. Nicholas went out with an officer to 
r^ee what thej^ w^anted. 

" We have a letter to deliver to Colonel Gansevoort, and wish to be ad- 
mitted to the fort," said Butler. 

" Blindfold them, and admit them," said Gansevoort. 
The officers were blindfolded. They were taken into Colonel Ganse- 
voort's dining-room ; but before they entered, Gansevoort had the blinds 
closed so that they could not get a sight of any thing outside. Candles 
were lighted, and the bandages taken from their eyes. Nicholas stood 
guard at the door and heard all that was said. 

Major Ancram, the British officer, addressed Colonel Gansevoort. 
- Colonel St. Leger wished to avoid further bloodshed, and the only sah 
vation of the garrison w^as an immediate surrender on the honorable terms 
which St. Leger would offer. The Indians were eager to march down the 
valley and massacre the inhabitants, and could not be restrained unless 
the fort was surrendered. There was no relief for the garrison, for Herki- 
mer had been defeated, and General Burgoyne w-as at Albany. Colonel 
Gansevoort and Colonel .Willett were satisfied that the speech was all a lie. 


If Herkimer had been defeated and Burgoyne was at Albany, why the 
persistent attempts to obtain a smTender without attempting a siege ? The 
threat to let the Indians loose aroused the ire of all the officers. Colonel 
Gansevoort deputed Colonel Willett to reply to Major Ancram. Willett 
looked him in the eye and said : 

" Do I understand you, sir, to say that you came from a British colonel 
who is in command of the army that invests this fort? By your uniform 
you appear to be a British officer. You come to the commander of this 
fort to inform him that if he does not deliver up the garrison. Colonel 
St. Leger will send his Indians to murder our women and children. You 
will please reflect, sir, that their blood will be on your heads, not on ours. 
We are doing our duty. The garrison is committed to our charge, and 
we will take care of it. I consider the message you have brought a de- 
grading one for a British officer to send, and by no means reputable for a 
British officer to cai ly. For my own part, before I would consent to de- 
liver this garrison to such a murdering set as your army, by your own ac- 
count, consists of, I would suffer my body to be filled with splinters and set 
on fire, as you know has at times been practiced by such hordes of women 
and children killei's as belong to your army." 

The officer hung his head in shame. He and Butler w^ere blindfolded 
once mo]-e, and they were led out of the fort. They had seen nothing, nor 
had they learned any thing, except that they had a plucky garrison to con- 

St. Leger placed his sentinels around the fort so that no one could get 
in or out, and began to dig trenches. He must approach it by a regular 

Colonel Gansevoort w^ished to eonnnunicate the situation of affairs to 
Colonel Schuyler at Albany. Who would run the risk of getting through 
St. Leger's lines ? 
- " I will," said Colonel Willett. 

^' So will I," said Captain Stockwell. 

They waited till ten o'clock at night. It was pitch-dark and raining 
when they started. They crept on their hands and knees through the tall 
grass in the meadow, crossed the river on a log, and made their way past 
the sentinels. A dog barked, and they found that they were close to an 
Indian camp. They did not dare to move — did not know wliich way was 
north, which south. From eleven o'clock till almost day-break they stood 
there, not daring to move. Joyful sight ! The clouds broke in the east, 
and they saw tlie bright morning-star gleaming above the horizon. Stealth- 
ily they crept along. They heard the gurgling of the water in the river, 


178 THE BOYS OF 76. 

went down to it, and waded in the stream, so that the Indians could not 
track them. They reached a settlement, obtained horses, and rode as fast 
as they could to Albany. 

General Arnold was there, and started at once with Colonel Learned's 
brigade of Massachusetts troops. The troops reached Little Falls. There 
they found some Tory prisoners, who had been captured at Oriskany. One 
was Yost Schuyler, a nephew of General Herkimer. The citizens had 
tried him by court-martial, and condemned him to be hanged ; and now his 
mother came to Arnold begging that he would spare her son's life. 

" I can not interfere," said Arnold ; and the poor w^oman, almost dis- 
tracted, pleaded still harder. 

Arnold thought he could use Yost to great advantage. 

" I wiir spare him on one condition," said Arnold : " that he shall go to 
St. Leger, and tell him that a great army is on its way to relieve the fort; 
and I will hold his brother in prison as a hostage for the faithful perform- 
ance of the service." 

The brother was put into prison, and Yost was glad enough to start on 
such an errand. A friendly Oneida went with him to aid him. ' Yost hung 
up his coat, and had the soldiers fire several bullets through it. He put it 
on and started. He reached Bundle of Sticks's camp, and ran into it out 
of breath. The Indians were at the moment consulting the Great Spirit 
through their medicine-man. 

" The Americans are coming," said Yost. 

" How many ?" the Indians asked. 

He pointed to the' leaves on the trees and to the holes in his coat. All 
of those bullets the Americans had fired at him. Just then the friendly 
Oneida came upon the run, and two more that he had picked up, and they 
pointed to the leaves on the trees. 

"Burgoyne is cut to pieces," said one of them, telling a big lie. 

"Arnold is close by with three thousand men," said the other, telling 
another lie. 

The chiefs ran to St. Leger with the news, and said that they were go- 
ing home. They would not stay and be killed. St. Leger made great 
promises to induce them to stay, offered them all the rum they could drink, 
but they would not touch it. 

" You said there would be no fighting for Indians — that we might look 
on and see white men fight ; but our braves have been killed. We will not 

They were gone. The Tories became panic-stricken, and fled. St. 
Leger went. The Tories threw away their arms and knapsacks, and every 


thing else, in their haste; and the Indians who had cari'ied tlie news pick- 
ed up the plunder, and kept crying that the Americans were coming, and 
frightened the Tories almost out of their wits. 

Yost ran a little way with the rest, then turned about, came back to 
the fort, and told Colonel Gansevoort what had happened, and the gar- 
rison rushed out, followed the fugitives, overtook them at Oneida, killed 
some, captured otliers, burned their boats, and dispersed the motley crew 
who had lost every thing, and retui-ned to the fort laden with the spoils of 




nniCONDEROGA was taken ; St. Clair's army scattered ; Borgoyne 
-^ was pushing on to the Hudson ; General Howe, with a great army, 
was menacing Philadelphia ; Colonel St. Leger, at Fort Schuyler, was 
ready to sweep down the Mohawk ; the Indians were killing and scalping, 
and the people were flying in terror before them. 

The days were dark and gloomy, for Great Britain w^as putting forth 
all her forces. 

The people of Vermont left their wheat-fields, their homes, packed up 
what goods they could, and moved into ^ew Hampshire and Massachu- 
setts. Some of the citizens of Albany fled into the country. 

"We are greatly burdened with people who have fled from the New 
Hampshire Grants," wrote the good minister of Stockbridge, Massachu- 
setts, " almost down to the Connecticut line." 

" The disaster at Ticonderoga has given our cause a dark and gloomy 
aspect," wrote Dr. Thacher in his journal 

"l^othing since the war began has created such dissatisfaction," said 
the Boston Gazette. 

In a week an army of nearly ^sq thousand had been dispersed, and 
there was only a handful of men on the Hudson to oppose Burgoyne, and 
these were retreating to Albany. Tents were gone, provisions gone, guns 
gone, courage gone, and an exultant enemy getting ready to move on and 
desolate the country. 

No wonder that General Burgoyne felt well. He sat down and w^rote 
a letter to Lord George Germain, and this was what he wrote : 

"As things have turned out, were I at liberty to march in force imme- 
diately by my left instead of my right, I should have little doubt of sub- 
duing before winter the provinces where the rebellion originated." 

The ministers at London had directed him to march to Albany, so that 
he could not turn aside as he wished and march to Boston. He must go 
on; but he thought it would be an easy matter to march across the coun- 



try to Boston. He perliaps tlioiiglit differently a few days later,. as we 
shall see. 

Dodifer marched from Rutland to Bennington. There he learned 
that the Indians were killing and scalping the inhabitants at Fort Edward ; 
that a beantifiil girl, Jane M'Crea, had been killed and scalped. Her 
brother was a Whig; but she had a lover, David Jones, who was a Tory, 
and had joined Burgoyne, 
Avho had given him a 
lieutenant's commission. 
The news of her death 
was a terrible blow to 
Lieutenant Jones. It is 
said that no smile ever 
was seen upon his face 
afterward ; that the gray 
hair came, and that he 
grew old while yet young 
in years. 

On the same day that 
the Indians killed Jane 
M'Crea, they also killed 
and scalped a farmer, 
John Allen, who lived 
on the banks of the Hud- 
son, his wife, and two 

So many had been 
killed and scalped, that 
General Gates, who took 
command of the North- 
ern army, wrote a lettei- 
to Burgoyne, remonstrat- 
ing, in the name of hu- 
manity, against his per- 
mitting the Indians to 
kill the unoffending in- 
habitants : 

" Upward of one hun- 
dred men, women, and 
children have perished by 




the hands of the ruffians to whom, it is asserted, you have paid the price of 
blood," wrote General Gates. 

But Burgojne could not control his "gentle hyenas," as Mr. Burke 
called them. To kill and scalp was the Indian's mode of warfare. 

Though the prospect was so gloomy, the people had no intention of 
giving up the contest. The Vermont Committee of Safety, at Manchester, 
sent a messenger to New Hampshire; The New Hampshire Assembly 
came together on the 17th of July, at Exeter. What to do they did not 
know. It was no use to wait for Congress to act, for that body was in ses- 
sion at Baltimore. The State must defend itself. There was no money 
in the treasury to pay troops or to purchase provisions. They might issue 
bills of credit, but who would take them? They might promise to pay, 
but who would furnish beef, pork, and flour on their promises? ^ 


The farmers sat in silence. Then up rose John La^igdon, who kept 
a store in Portsmouth, down by the sea. It was a short speech that he 
made. This is what he said : ' 

" I have three thousand dor ■" money; I will pledge my plate 

for as much more; I have sevei dsof Tobago rum, which shall 

be sold for as much as it will bri ^re at the service of the State. 



If we succeed in defending our homes and firesides, I may be remuner- 
ated ; if we do not, the property is of no value to me. Our old friend 
Stark, who did so nobly at Bunker Hill, may be 
safely intrusted with the enterprise, and we will 
check the progress of Burgoyne." 

Glorious John Langdon ! 

The farmers listened to it. They were thrill- 
ed by it. With so much hard cash to start with, 
and so much rum that they could sell, they 
could go ahead. 

Before night the militia of the State was all 
reorganized, and messengers were riding, on fast 
horses to all the towns in the Merrimac Yalley, 
wiyjjoAers to colonels and captains to march at 
once. One messenger rode westward to Derryfield with a general's com- 
mission in his pocket for Colonel John Stark, Dodifer's and EHj all's col- 
onel at Bunker Hill, to take command of all the troops, and to do what he 
could to stop Burgoyne. 

A great day's work that, as we shall see. Before the week was 
through, the men composing Colonel Stickney's, l^ichols's, and Hobart's 
regiments, twenty -five companies in all, were on the march. Colonel 
Stickneyhad 602 men; Colonel Mcliols, 594 ; and Colonel Hobart, 448 ; 
in all, 1644. Each man packed his knapsack, left his grain, ripe for the 
sickle, and started. They all flocked to Charlestown, on the Connecticut 
Kiver. General Stark was there. . Some of the men he set to work run- 
ning bullets. He had only one pair of molds; but those were kept in 
use day and night. He wanted lead, and some of the farmers brought the 
clock-weights, some their pewter spoons and porringei'S, to be melted. 

General Stark found an old cannon at Charlestown ; it was rusty and 
not mounted; but he obtained a pair of cart-wheels, placed it on the axle, 
and sent it over the Green Mountains. In some places where the hills 
were too steep for the horses to drag it, the soldiers laid down their guns, 
lifted the wheels, and tugged at the ropes. 

Old men sixty and seventy years of age turned out, and boys of fif- 
teen. Dodifer was surprised to see his younger brother, Enoch, come into 
camp. He was only fifteen. When the call came for troops, Enoch had 
no coat, for the family had hard work to get bread enough to eat, to say 
nothing of clothes. But his mother soon had a coat for him. She took a 
meal bag, cut a hole for his head, two holes for his arras, cut off a pair of 
her stockings, sewed them on for sleeves, and witii his knapsack and gun 


THE BOYS O.^" 76. 

he joined tlie brave men who were determined to do what they could in 
defense of the conntrj. They stopped wherever night overtook them, 
kindled a bivouac fire, eat their snpper, and lay down to sleep beneath 
tlie trees. 




General Stark arrived at Bennington on the 6th of Angust. The next 
day General Lincoln came from General Schnyler, who was at Saratoga, 
orderino' Genei'al Stark to march at once to that place; but General Stark 
was under orders from the State of Xew Hampshire, with liberty to act 
according to his own judgment. 



Sclmyler wanted to get an army in front of Burgoyne. General Stark 
thought that he could attack him to good advantage on the flank and rear, 
and would not go. 

Burgoyne had reached the Hudson, but before he could' move on he 
must have a supply of provisions sent forward from Lake Champlain. He 
must have horses, oxen, and wagons. He wanted to mount the Hessian 
dragoons, so that they could sweep over the country, and bring in cattle. 
Fortunately for him, the Americans had a lot of flour, beef, pork, cattle, 
horses, and wagons, at Bennington, which had been collected for his spe- 
cial purpose. He would send a party to seize them, and then march to 
Charlestown, down the Connecticut to Brattleboro', then turn west and 
join him again, while Sir Henry Clinton would come up from ]S"ew York, 
and Colonel St. Leojer would come down from Albany. It would be a 



grand move and a joyful meeting, for by that time the rebellion would be 
pretty effectually crushed. 

Burgoyne sent Colonel Baume, a Hessian officer, with General Keide- 
sel's dismounted dragoons, a company of sharp-sliooters, the best marks- 
men of Fraser's division, a battalion of Tories from Vermont and Xew 
York, under Colonel Peters ; a part of a Canadian regiment ; the Hessian 
artillery, with two cannon ; fifty chasseurs ; and one hundred and fifty In- 
dians — in all, between seven and eight hundred men. 

On the 13th of August, Baume reached Cambridge, twelve miles west 
of Bennington, where he surprised fifteen Amei'icaus and captured five of 
them, besides some cattle, which he sent to Burgoyne, with the information 
that there were eighteen hundred Americans at Bennington, who, he sup- 
posed, would retire on his approach. 

General Stark did not know that Baume was so near him, for the men 
who had escaped from Cambridge, when they came into Bennington, said 
that they had seen only some Tories and Indians. General. Stark would 
not have the Tories and Indians prowling about the countr that way, 
and sent Lieutenant - colonel Gregg, with two hundred men of Colonel 
Xichols's regiment, down to stop the plunderers. 

Dodifer was one of the party. It was early in the morning when they 

started. They marched down the 
,:^'^^ ^ valley of a little river called the 


Mr. Yan Schaick had a mill on 
the river,, and a bridge crossed the 
stream close by the mill. Dodifer 
had crossed the river, and was push- 
ino^ on, when he saw an Indian down 
the road in the bushes. The next 
moment a bullet came whizzing 
throuo^h the air. He sent one in the 
other direction, and a moment later 
the guns were cracking all around 
him and the bullets fiying. The 
two parties had come into collision. 
Colonel Gregg ordered his men to 
retreat across the bridge, and then, 
seeing a great body of the enemy down the road, told the men to break 
down the bridge. 

Some of tlie soldiers ran into the mill, and fired from the windows; 



others outside fired from behind trees. Dodifer and some others threw 
the planks of the bridge into the river, and began to cut the stringers ; 
but before they had finished, the bullets came thick and fast, and they 
had to run. 

Colonel G-regg sent word to General Stark of what was going on, and 
General Stark sent a messenger northward to Manchester, twenty-six miles, 
for Colonel Warner's regiment to hasten to Bennington. Having done this, 
instead of retreating, he started with all his troops to meet Baume. 

The British and Hessians were repairing the bridge, and messengers 
from Baume were riding to Burgoyne, with the news that he had driven 
the rebels, and taken several barrels of flour and some wagons. 

General Stark formed his men in line of battle two miles above the 
mill ; but it was nearly night, and he did not like the position he had 
chosen, and concluded to fall back to his camping-ground. It seemed to 
some of the soldiers like retreating; but Dodifer knew what stuff General 
Stark was made of, and it did not trouble him. He felt sure there would 
be hot work before long. 

Baume followed Stark up the valley to a hill overlooking the little riv- 
er, pitched his tents, and encamped for the night, which set in dark and 
rainy. The British and Hessians were in their tents; but the Americans 
had few tents. Greneral Stark had his head-quarters in The Catamount 
tavern, so called from the figure of a catamount on the sign. Dodifer 
and his brother, and a great many other soldiers, slept in the meeting-house. 
Some slept in barns and sheds, or wherever they could find shelter. 

In the night, Dodifer heard some soldiers tramping through the mud, 
and learned that they had come from Williamstown and Pittsfield and oth- 
er towns in Massachusetts. There were about one hundred, under Colonel 
Jacob Symonds ; and Rev. Mr. Allen, of Pittsfield, came with them in his 
sulky. He had been a chaplain at Ticonderoga, and could fight as well 
as preach. 

Mr. Allen drove to the tavern, and hastened to see General Stark. 

" General," he said, " the people of Berkshire have frequently- been 
called upon to fight, but never have had a chance, and we have resolved 
that if you don't give us a chance now, never to turn out again." 

"Do you want to go now, in the rain and darkness?" the general asked. 

'^1^0, I'm not particular about that." 

"Well, if the Lord gives us sunshine once more, and I don't give you 
fighting enough, you needn't turn out again." 

When Dodifer awoke in- the morning, he saw that tliere was not a 
cloud in the skv. The air wa;s calm. Not a breath of air stirred the leaves 



of the trees. The ground was soaked. There were pools of water in the 
road, and the grass was wet; but the sun soon dried it. 

Dodifer took a stroll out to the picket-line, picking blackberries by the 
roadside, to take a look at the enemy. There they were on a hill the 
other side of the river. The Hessians had rekindled their camp-fires, and 
were cooking their breakfasts and drying their clothes. Tliey had thrown 
up an intrenchment on the top of the hill. He could see the sunlight re- 
flected from their cannon. Down by the bridge that crossed the river 
were two log-houses : the Canadians were there. On a little knoll nearer 
the east side of the Walloomscoick were the Tories, under Colonel Peters. 
They had thrown up intrenchments. He could see the Indians skulking 
about as if to get a chance to scalp a Yankee. He went back to camp, 
cleaned his gun, and was ready for battle. 

General Baume had learned enough to make him cautious. He con- 
cluded not to move on without re-enforcements. He strengthened his in- 
trenchments, and waited. The river near his intrenchments is so wind- 
ing that it almost forms the letter S — running west, then south, then west 
again. The liill on which Baume was encamped is between the two bends. 

Jj^ r^^. 


[The British aud Hessian intrenchments were ou the hill in the centre of the view. The Tories were 
by the bridge, at the right hand, on both sides of the river. The road from Cambridge is seen crossing 
the hill at its base, and leads eastward over the bridge to Bennington. Colonel Stickney attacked the 
Tories by the bridge, drove them across it, and ascended the hill near the fence running up it. General 
Stark, with the main body, Colonel Nichols, and Colonel Herrick, all attacked from the ground now cov- 
ered with woods. The feecond line of battle was formed near the three trees at the left of the view.] 


A small brook comes down from the north-west, and empties into the river 
by the upper bend. North and west of the hill was a dense forest. South 
of the hill were cleared fields. The road up which Baume had marched 
from Cambridge crossed the river at tlie foot of the hill, and continued 
east to Bennington about two miles. 

Baume directed Colonel Peters and his Tories to cross the bridge and 
throw up intrenchments on the little knoll south of the road. He placed 
the Canadian troops in and around the log-houses by the bridge ; the Ger- 
mans and British occupied the hill, while the Indians skulked in the woods. 
Five hundred of Baume's men were disciplined troops. 

The men and boys who had gathered at Bennington were nearly all 
of them farmers. They had come from the hay-fields to drive back the 
invader. True, they numbered eighteen hundred — one hundred and fifty 
from Massachusetts, a few from Vermont, and fifteen hundred from ISTew 
Hampshire. Baume had eight hundred; but he was strongly intrenched, 
had two cannon ; his troops were disciplined, and had bayonets. Military 
men would say tliat the probabilities w^ere all in favor of a victory to 
Baume. But General Stark and his men had come to fight. General 
Stark divided his forces into three divisions — each division to attack at the 
same moment. 

Noon. He selects Colonel Stickney and Colonel Hobart, with two hun- 
dred men from their regiments, to attack the Tories under Colonel Peters 
east of the river. He directs Colonel Herrick, with three hundred, to cross 
the river above the upper bend, where Baume can not see him, make a 
long march through the woods, go round north of the hill, and approach 
it from the west. He directs Colonel Nichols to follow Colonel Herrick 
witli two hundred men, and be ready to attack from the north. Colonel 
Nichols wants more men, and General Stark sends another hundred. That 
leaves about one thousand with General Stark. 

We see the parties starting out. Colonel Stickney and Colonel Hobart 
leave the road, go through a corn-field ; and each soldier pulls off a corn 
tassel, and sticks it under his hat-band — not for a plume ; but they are all 
in citizen's dress, and so are the Tories under Peters, and the tassel will 
enable them to distinguish friends from foes. Colonel Stickney marches 
through a piece of woods, comes out into an open field in front of the 
Tories, to attract attention ; but he will not make an attack till he hears 
the rattle of Herrick's guns from the west. 

Three o'clock. It has taken Herrick three hours to make his circui- 
tous march through the woods. Stark and Colonel Warner are sitting in 
their saddles, with the thousand men in line, half a mile up the river, 



where Baurae can not see tliem. Mchols has reached his position in the 
woods north of the hill. All are waiting the signal. There comes a rattle 
of guns from the west. Herrick has begun the battle. At the first vol- 
ley the Indians take to their heels, through the w^oods, down the valley. 
They have been in the woods, and have discovered that they are full of 
Yankees. Yankees on the south, Yankees on the east, Yankees on the 
north, Yankees on the west. They have no idea of being caught in a trap. 

"Forward!" It is General Stark who issues the order. The one 
thousand men move through the woods, and come out in viev/ of the in- 
trenchment. The soldiers can see it swarming with British and Hessian 

" Soldiers, there are the red-coats ! We must beat them, or else Molly 
Stark will be a widow to-night," says General Stark. 

Dodifer has been with General Stark behind the rail-fence at Bunker 
Hill, and knows that there is to be no boy's play in this battle. • 

'• Hurra ! hurra !" the soldiers shout, making the woods ring, and let- 
ting the British and Hessians know that the battle is about to begin in 

They march nearer, and begin the conflict. Almost at the same in- 


staiit there comes a roll from Stickney and Hobart, who are confronting 
the Tories, and a roar from Nichols. On all sides the battle begins. The 
old cannon on cart-wheels, which General Stark found at Charlestown, 
thunders — not hurling cannon-balls upon the intrenchments, but stones, 
such as the soldiers can ram into it, for Stark has no cannon-balls. The 
two brass field-pieces of Baume reply. The British and Hessians load and 
fire as fast as they can, and the hill smokes like a volcano. 

Men begin to drop in the ranks ; but nearer and still nearer to the 
intrenchments move the lines. 

" Drive the Tories into the river !" is the shout which Stickney's and 
Hobart's men send up. They rush upon the intrenchment, pour in a vol- 
ley. Hobart closes around it on one side, Stickney on the other. The 
struggle is short and desperate ; but the Tories suddenly lose heart, and 
flee across the bridge. Stickney and Hobart follow, make a rush upon 
the Canadians in the houses, and drive them out and take possession. 
Some of the Tories flee down the road toward Cambridge ; but most of 
them join Baume on the hill. Hotter grows the fight, nearer and still 
nearer. The battle now is on and around the hill. More deafening the 

Baume sees that the battle is going against him. His ammunition is 
failing. His men are brave. The Americans have no bayonets. He will 
charge upon them. The Reidesel dragoons make a rush, but are received 
with a volley. Dodifer fires into their faces ; and, though a line of bayo- 
nets is gleaming in his face, he will not run. He seizes his gun by the 
barrel, and is ready to annihMate the Hessians. The dragoons waver, come 
to a halt, then turn and flee to their intrenchments. 

'' Charge ! chaise !" The order goes along the line. OfiScers shout it, 
soldiers shout it. With a yell, the Americans spring forward, ^weep up 
the hill, and rush upon the intrenchments, to beat out the brains of the 
Hessians and British. They leap over the breastwork, seize the cannon, 
capture the gunners. The Hessians fall on their knees, throw down their 
guns, hold up their hands. Dodifer can not understand a word of their 
language, but knows that they are crying for quarter. Others, seeing 
that the battle is lost, flee down the road toward Cambridge, leaving every 
thing in their flight. 

What a wild hurra .goes up ! The battle is won, and the victorious 
troops disperse to collect the prisoners and the booty. The regiments 
are all disorganized. General Stark has promised them all the plunder, 
arfd each soldier is hunting for guns, swords, pistols, or blankets. 

But suddenly they i.ear a drum-beat, and Lieutenant-colonel Breyman, 


194 THE BO^^ OF 76. 

with five hundred British, makes hir, appearance. He has marclied twelve 
miles from Cambridge, has met the fugitives, gathered them up, and is 
hastening on with his fresh troops to retrieve the disaster. 

" Fall in ! fall in !" is the cry of the Americans. The lines reform. 
Men do not stop to find their own. regiments, but fall in w^here they are. 

On come the British, driving all before them. And now the battle 
rages hotter than ever. All is confusion on the American side, every thing 
in order on the British. Their volleys are regular, and roll like peals of 
thunder; while each American fights by himself. The British have two 
cannon. The Americans wheel the two captured from Baume into posi- 
tion, and fire them. Step by step Breyman advances, and the Americans 
fall back. Are they to lose the battle, after all ? 

And now Colonel Warner's regiment, the one hundred and fifty men 
who were at Hubbardton, make their appearance. They liave marched 
from Manchester, twenty - ' miles, have heard the roar of battle, and 
have come upon the run. They are burning to avenge the disaster at 
Hubbard ttsn. They fall upon the British like a thunder-bolt. The red- 
coated line wavers, breaks, and then, seized with a panic, all who can get 
away, flee ; those who can not, throw down Jheir arms and give themselves 
up as prisoners. The escaped ones fiee down the road, followed by the 
Americans to Yan Schaick's mill. There, in the evening twilight, the pur- 
suit ends, and the victorious soldiers return to the battle-ground and count 
up the spoils of victory — four cannon, nine hundred muskets, swords, and 
pistols, and seven hundred prisoners. Two Jiundred and seven British 
have been killed or wounded. The Americrfloss is about one hundred. 

The expedition which was to supply Birgoyne with horses, wagons, 
cattle, and provisions, has ended in disaster. A thousand men have been 
lost, and horses and wagons have not been obtained. Burgoyne begins 
to see that it would not be so easy as he had thought to march to Bos- 
ton. The farmers of ]N"ew Hampshire have beaten two of his best ofiicers 
in a pitched battle. Without bayonets they have charged upon intrench- 
ments — a thing unheard of. His prospects, yesterday so bright, have all 
been changed. He sees that he will have trouble before reaching Albany. 
He writes a letter to Lord Germain. This is the beginning of disaster; 
he fears worse, but will try and do his duty. 

More discouraging news reaches him. A 5omes from the 

valley of the Mohawk. Colonel St. Leger has die to take Fort 

Schu^^ler, and is retreating to Canada; so he ^\ ) help from that 





ELIJAH and Esek were on the march once more. After the battle at 
Princeton, General Washington established his quarters at Morris- 
town, in New Jersey. The winter had passed away, summer had come, 
and the army, now containing fourteen thousand men, was. marching 
southward ; for General Howe had put his army on board the ships, and 
General Washington concluded that he was intending to sail south, ascend 
the Delaware, and attack Philadelphia. Such was Howe's design, who 
sailed from New York on the 23d of July with eighteen thousand men. 
He reached Delaware Bay, and then learned that Washington had erect- 
ed strong fortifications on the river. He spread his sails once more for 
Chesapeake Bay. It was a long voyage, and it was the 25th of August 
before he reached the place he had selected for landing, on the Elk 

During these sultry days of August the army was moving south-west 
from Philadelphia, to meet the British. Esek was marching with his gun 
on his shoulder, but Elijah was on horseback. He had been appointed a 
captain. The first week in September the army was posted on the river 
Brandy wine, a small stream which runs south, and empties into Delawa^-o 
Bay at Wilmington. 

Elijah had studied surveying a little. He was quick to see the features 
of a country, and so had been appointed an engineer, to select positions 
and lay out intrenchments. 

General Washington thought that, with the Bi-andy wine for a defense, 
he could hazard an attack from General Howe with a fair prospect of a 
victory. Howe would have to cross the stream at some ford, for there 
were no bridges. , 

Elijah rode np and down the river and saw all the fords, and took 
notice of the banks, the fields, ^'oads, hills, fences, and woods, for in a bat- 
tle a fence or a hill is sometimes of great value to an army. 

He began at a place called Pyle's Ford, and rode up the east side of 



the river. General Maxwell was stationed at tlia' 3rd with one thousand 
Pennsylvania militia. His troops were encampe on a rocky hill. The 

ne -t ford, a half mile above, 

- ^^^ ^^ ^s Chad's, on the great 

"-" roavu leading from Phila- 

d ^phia to Wilmington. 

About two miles east of 
the river was the house of 
Mr. Benjamin Ping, where 
Washington had his head- 
quarters. General Wayne 
commanded a brigade at 
Chad's Ford, and Captain 
Proctor, of the artillery, 
had his six guns planted to 

Washington's hea^-quakters at brandywine. sweeo the crossing" 

A mile farther up was Brinton's Ford, and two miles above that was 
Jones's Ford, and seven miles above Chad's was Jefferis's Ford. About two 
miles north-east from Mr. Chad's house, which was near the ford on the 
east side, was a Quaker meeting-house, called the Birmingham meeting- 
jf' house, a long, narrow, one-storied building with board blinds on the win- 
dows. General Sullivan, who was in command of the right wing, had his 
head-quarters near by. His troops were encamped west of the meeting- 
house, between it and the river. Sullivan had his own brigade, and Lord 
Stirling's and General Stevens's. General Conway was with Stirling's 
brigade. There were two French officers 
with General Sullivan: General De 
Borre, who had fought in Europe, but 
who had been with the army only a 
short time ; and a young French noble- 
man, Lafayette, who had just arrived in 
America in his own vessel to aid the pa- 
triots with his fortune and his services. 

Looking across the fields toward the 
south-east, Elijah could see a little clus- 
ter of houses callej^ Dilworth village. 
Biding north from Birmingham meet 
ing-house, he passed over a ridge of lar 
called Osborne's Hill, and came to a 
there was another Quaker meeting-hr 


Jage called Sconnel, where 
j-ning west fi-om Sconnel, he 



came to Jefferis's Ford. Mr. Emmon Jefferis lived near by in a large stone 
house. The merchants of Wilmington had moved their wines, sugars, and 

other goods to Mr. Jefferis's house 
for safe-keeping. It would have been 
better if they had moved them some- 
where else, as we shall see. 

•Elijah's horse waded through the 
stream, which was only knee -deep. 
Reaching the west bank, he galloped 
south a mile and came to the west 
branch of the Brandywine. He cross- 
ed that at a place called Trimble's 
Ford, and rode south, crossing roads 
which led to Jones's and Brinton's 
Ford, and came to the great road 
leading to Wilmington. At the junc- 
tion of the two roads was a tavern 
'1^ ' kept by Johnny Welsh, as every body 

called him. He called his tavern. 
From there Elijah rode east to Chad's Ford, about 


the Lancaster Hotel, 
three miles distant. 

There had been a good deal of marching and countermarching by 
the two armies, but General Washington had placed his troops to cover 
these fords, and General Howe was approaching from the west. Howe 
reached Johnny Welsh's tavern, and halted to see what he could do. He 
saw that it would cost him a good many men were he to attempt to cross 
at Fyle's, or Chad's, or Jones's, or Brinton's. He must find a back door 
somewhere, and get in through that. This was his plan: He would leave 
five thousand Hessians under General Knyphausen 
to make a feint at Pyle's and Chad's ; but would ^ ^^ 

go with ten thousand up the road to Trimble's Ford, / 
cross that, move Jefferis's, cross that, march to 
the little village of Sconnel, and then come down 
in Sullivan's rear at Birmingham meeting-house. 
It would be a long march — fifteen miles — bnt if he 
could carry out his plan, it would be successful. 

General Washington thought likely that Howe 
might be making some such movement, and di- 
rected General Sullivan to keep a sharp lookout upon all the upper fords. 

The 11th of September came. The morning was foggy. ISTeither 


198 THE BOYS OF 76. 

army could see the other — just the morning for General Howe. About 
day-break, General Maxwell sent out his pickets toward Johnny Welsh's, 
who quickly brought back word that the Hessians were advancing toward 
Pyle's and Chad's Ford. The pickets fired upon each other. The Ameri- 
cans fell back, and Knyphausen advanced slowly. About ten o'clock the 
Hessians showed themselves in the fields, but did not seem inclined to 
•advance. Maxwell concluded to invite them on, and crossed the ford. 
Knyphausen thought he was going to be attacked in earnest, and opened 
with his artillery. Proctor's guns replied. There was sharp firing of 
muskets, and Maxwell retreated across the ford. 

All the morning General Sullivan kept a sharp lookout upon the fords. 
He sent Colonel Bland, with some cavalry, across the river at Jones's Ford 
to reconnoitre, hi a short time a trooper came back, saying that Howe 
was marching north toward Jefferis's Ford. 

General Sullivan sent Elijah with the information to General Wash- 
ington. While Elijah was at Washington's head-quarters, another oflicer 
came with a dispatch from Colonel Ross, who also was out reconnoitring. 
He had discovered the British army marching northward toward Jefferis's 
Ford. Another officer came from Colonel Hazen, confirming the dis- 

Washington saw that Howe had divided his army. He sent Elijah 
l^ack to General Sullivan with instructions to cross the Brandywine at 
Jones's Ford, and fall upon the rear of Howe. He told General Greene 
to push across Chad's Ford and attack Knyphausen on his left flank, while 
he, with the main army and Maxwell, would cross at Bly's Ford and attack 
Knyphausen's right flank. Sullivan would keep Howe from returning to 
help Knyphausen, while Greene and himself would grind the latter to 
powder, and, seize all of the baggage which had been left at Johnny Welsh's. 
They would quickly finish Knyphausen, and be ready for Howe. 

It was about noon, and the troops were ready to move ; but now a 
messenger came down from the region of Jefferis's Ford, sent by Major 
Spear, of the militia, who said that he had not seen any thing of Howe in 
that region. Another officer came to General Sullivan, who said that he 
had seen nothing of Howe in the vicinity of Jefferis's Ford. General Sul- 
livan did not know what to make of it, and sent word to Washington by 
Elijah once more. General Washington was also unable to comprehend 
it. He thought, perhaps, Howe had made a march north to entice him 
across the river, and that his army was concealed in the woods above 
Jones's Ford. 

" Tell General Sullivan to wait," was the answer Elijah carried back. 








It was a great mistake which Major Spear had made. He had only 
been toward Jefferis's Ford, not to it. Had he gone a httle nearer, he 
would have seen the whole British 
army halted beneath the ti-ees. Gen- 
eral Howe and General Cornwall is, 
and the other officers, were in Jef- 
feris's house, having a merry time in 
drinking the fine old Madeira wine 
of the Wilmington merchants. They fg^^ 
drank all they wanted, and took ^ 
along a large quantity, and made Mr. 
Jefferis show them the way to Scon- 
nel. It was Sunday, and the Quak- 
ers were holdino- a meetino- in the 
meetino'-house there. 

Howe made a rapid march down 
the road to Birmingham meeting- 
house. A Whig farmer, Thomas 
Cheney, saw the British, and in an instant he was on the back of his mare, 
and flying like the wind down the road to let Washington know of their 
approach. The British skirmishers fired at him, but the balls flew wide of 
their aim. 

Just about the same time Colonel Bland discovered the British, and 
sent a messeno^er to Sullivan that Cornwallis was advancino^ over Osborne's 

Sullivan's troops had all been facing westward, but now he liad to 

change front and face them north. 
^l^^^^^r - General De Borre's brigade was sta- 

tioned by Birmingham meeting- 
house, and from there Sullivan's line 
extended west nearly to the Bran- 
dywine. He had hardly changed 
front before the Hessians were upon 

Mr. Samuel Jones lived in a 
house a short distance north of the 
meeting-house, and some of the 
Americans took position in his or- 
chard and garden, and, when the He.ssians were near enough, opened fire. 
It is the beginning of the battle. A few minutes later a terrible con- 





flict is ragiDg. Cornwallis has between twenty and 'thirty cannon. Sulli- 
van brings his into position, the small -arras join in, and there is a great 
uproar. Cornwallis has twice as many soldiers as Sullivan, and the con- 
test is unequal. 

General Howe is with the troops east of the road, and is swinging 
them out through the fields to close in upon the men in the garden and 
by the meeting-house. The Hessians charge to drive them out with the 

bayonet, but the Americans force them back. General Sullivan sends 
Elijah down to tell them to hold the position, that Washington will soon 
be there to help them ; but before Elijah reaches the spot, De Borre's men 
give way and fiee past the meeting-house in confusion. Elijah tries to 
rally them, but in vain. He rides back to Sullivan, wi;"0 is in the centre 
of the line, jnst in season to see the left give way befoie Cornwallis, who 


has swept around from the west. Sullivan and Lafayette try to rally their 
men. Elijah sees Lafayette leap from his horse, sword in hand, and dis- 
covers that the animal has been shot through one leg and can not move. 
Two of Sullivan's aids fall. The bullets are flying around him. The 
centre, under General Conway, still holds its ground ; but the British are 
on three sides. It is useless to attempt to hold the position any longer. 
Of what use is the centre of a dam when both banks have been swept 
away ? All flee across the fields and through the woods and pastures to- 
ward Dilworth. 

A welcome sight greets the eyes of the fleeing soldiers. General 
Greene has been marching from Chad's Ford north-east upon the double- 
quick, and there he is near Dilworth, forming his line and rallying the 
fugitives. The moment that he heard Sullivan's guns, he started Wee- 
don's brigade, and the men have made four miles in forty minutes. The 
soldiers are panting for breath, the sweat is pouring down their cheeks ; 
but there they are with their artillery in position to sweep a narrow defile. 
Washington is riding along the line, and Greene and Washington together 
are bringing order out of confusion. 

Cornwallis is hastening on. So rapid has been his pursuit that his 
lines are broken. He comes to the defile, but his troops make a sudden 
halt, for grape and solid shot are plowing through their ranks. He forms 
his lines, and advances to the attack again ; but with the troops he has at 
hand can make no impression on that wall of men before him. He tries 
again and again, but his troops have had a wearisome march ; they are 
panting with the heat. They have lost their energy, ^nd it is a terrible 
fire that rolls upon them from that line of men. I'rom three o'clock till 
sunset Greene and Washington hold the line, and Howe and Cornwallis 
can. not force it. 

Wlfile this is going on at Dilworth, cannon are thundering and mus- 
kets raxtling at Chad's and Pyle's Ford. Knyphausen has been on the 
watch ; he sees Greene leave suddenly. Wayne and Maxwell, with two 
thousand men, are left to hold the fords ; but he has five thousand. He 
moves upon Chad's Ford, plants his artillery to cannonade the other bank. 
His column moves on. The soldiers go down the bank, and enter the 
water. Proctor's guns blaze upon them ; whole platoons drop into the 
stream; the water is crimsoned with their blood, their bodies float down 
river; but before the cannoneers can reload, a large number have gained 
the shelter of the eastern bank, and are ready for an attack. Wayne is 
waiting for them. But suddenly a messenger comes from Sullivan an- 
nouncing -the disaster to his troops. 




~No use for Wayne to remain there; to do so will be fatal, Corn- 
wallis will soon be between hitn and Washington. Knyphausen is so near 

He orders a retreat, leaving 

now that he can not withdraw Proctor's guns. 



the cannon to the Hessians. Pie hastens across the field and comes np to 
aid Greene and Washington in keeping Cornwallis at bay. Maxwell re- 
treats, and joins Washington. 

The Sabbath sun goes down upon the battle-field. Howe has won the 

victory by getting in at the 
back door once more, and all 
because the men who were 
detailed to look after the door 
did not go near it to see 
whether or not Howe was 
there. They only went to- 
ward it. Had Major Spear 
not sent in any report, in all 
probability the battle would 
have had a far different end- 
ing, for Knyphausen would have been annihilated, had not the order which 
Washington had given been countermanded, and Howe might have lost 
his baggage before he could have retraced his'^teps. 




Defeated once more. It was a sad night to the Americans. Twelve 
hnndred of their number had been captured, wounded, or killed. Howe 
bad lost eight hundred; but his army was much the largest. Washington 
had lost his strong position, and must retreat. During the night the army 
moved north-east toward Philadelphia. 


The news of the battle reached the city before morning, and the peo- 
ple w^ere greatly excited. Many of the Whigs packed up their goods and 
moved into the country. Some of the streets were almost deserted. The 
Tories remained, readv to welcome General Howe. 

7 ti 


204 THE BOYS OF 76. 



DODIFER HAXSCOM was a lieuteDant. He had fonglit bravely at 
Bunker Hill, at Quebec, Bennington, and Hubbardton, and was well 
qualified to command men. *A few days after tlie battle at Bennington 
he marched south-west, and came to the Hudson River, opposite Stillwater, 
crossed on a floating bridge, and came to Mr. Bemis's tavern. It was a 
large house on the great road leading from Albany to Canada. It was a 
place well known ; for the young people of Albany, before the war, if they 
took a sleigh -ride in winter, usually rode up the river to Bemis's tavern, 
where they were sure of having a good supper after a dance. 

Between the tavern and the river there w^as a smooth field. Behind 
the house were hills covered with oaks and pines. 

Dodifer found four or five thousand troops on Mr. Bemis's farm. 
They had just arrived from the mouth of the Mohawk, and General 
Gates, who had succeeded General Schuyler, w^as in command — a small 
man with a red face. He was Adjutant-general of the Continental Army; 
but as there was a great deal of dissatisfaction with General Schuyler, who 
was held responsible for the disaster at Ticonderoga, General Gates had 
been appointed to the command. It was hardly just to hold General 
Schuyler responsible for what had happened at Ticonderoga, and the scat- 
tering of the army. He was a brave ofiicer, but unfortunately situated, 
and the people had lost confidence in him. 

Colonel Morgan Lewis, the quartermaster of the army, was laying out 
a camp on the beautiful interval in front of the. tavern, and building an 
intrenchment to stop Burgoyne from coming down the road. While the 
soldiers were at work with picks and shovels, a young man from Poiand 
came into camp. He had served in the armies of Poland, and had come 
to America to aid the patriots in preserving their liberties. He had called 
upon General Washington, offering his services. 

" What can yoii do ?" Washington asked. 

" Try me," said the young man. 



That pleased Washington, who appointed him an engineer, and here 
lie was. 

He looked at the camp and at the hills, np the river and behind the 

" It vill be easy for ze enem}^ to fire ze cannon-balls into ze camp from 
that hill," said the young Polander, Thaddeiis Kosciuszko, pointing to a 

" From that hill they vill be able to see all that you vill be doing : they 
vill aim ze cannon at your shoe-buckles," he said, pointing to another hill. 

Colonel Lewis was astonished. He had not thought of that. He saw 
that the young foreigner knew more 
about military engineering than Gen- 
eral Gates, or any body else in the 
army. But General Gates was a 
proud, self - conceited man, w^ho had 
selected the site for the camp ; and it 
would not do for Kosciuszko, or any 
body else, to inform him that Bur- 
goyne, with his artillery, would drive 
the army from that position in a very 
few minutes. But Major Wilkin- 
son introduced Kosciuszko to General 
Gates, who soon saw that the foreign- 
er knew what he was talking about. 

"You will please ride over the 
ground around here, examine the positions, and give Colonel Lewis the 
benefi.t of your advice," said Gates. 

" If you vish ze place defended, I must know how many men you have 
before laying out ze vorks," said Kosciuszko. 

"About five thousand." 

" Very veil. K^ow ve vill ride and see ze ground. 

Colonel Lewis rode with him up the hills and along the ravines. 

" Here is ze place for ze breastvorks, and there ve vill make ze angle. 
Ye vill carry ze line up ze hill," said Kosciuszko, selecting the proper place 
for building the line of intrenchments. 

The soldiers went to work under Kosciuszko's direction, and in a short 
time had a line of works extending from the river, up the hills, to the 
house of Mr. I^eilson, nearly a mile. 

General Glover's brigade was stationed down by the river ; then came 
General Nixon's and General Paterson's. General Gates's head -quarters 




vv'ei'e in Mr. Chatfield's house, about tliree-quarters of a mile from the riv- 
er. Beyond Gates's head-quarters was General Poor's brigade — three Xew 

Hampshire regiments (Colonel Cil- 
. u ^- ley's, Colonel Scammell's, and Colonel 

Hale's), which had fought at Tren- 
'; -''- ton and Princeton, and were now 

ready to do their best in stopping 
Burgoyne. Besides these, there wxre 
Colonel Yan Cortlandt's and Colonel 
Henry Livingston's Kew York regi- 
ments, Colonel Cook's and Colonel 
Latimer's Connecticut troops, and Col- 
onel Morgan's riflemen, and Major 
Dearborn's battalion of Xew Hampshire troops — three hundred and fifty 
picked men. They drilled as light-infantry, but were attached to Morgan's 
command ; for they were nearly all armed with rifles. 

A few days later, General Learned's brigade of Massachusetts troops — 
consisting of Bailey's, Wesson's, and Jackson's regiments, and James Liv- 
ington's Xew York regiment — arrived. With them canie Nicholas Doloff, 
from Fort Schuyler. 

General Arnold was in command of the left, w^ith his head - quarters 
near Mr. Xeilson's house. 



General Burgoyne, after his success at Ticonderoga and Hnbbardton, 
had pushed on to Fort Edward. He had had a smart skirmish before 
reaching Fort Edward ; but, having reached the Hudson, had taken things 
easy. He had scattered the Americans ; the road was opened to Albany. 


He must transport boats from Lake Cliaraplain to the Hudson, bring for- 
ward his supplies, and then he would push on. 

The boats were loaded on wheels in Wood Creek, which empties into 
Lake Champlain, and then, with six horses in a team, drawn to the Hud- 
son, about twenty miles. It was slow work, however, for the teamsters 
were in no hurry. They were getting British gold, and the longer they 
could work, the more money they would have. The horses had been pur- 
chased in Canada, and the Canadians had been shrewd enough to sell all 
their old, knock-kneed, spavined, ring-boned animals at high prices. They 
had come from Canada by land, along the Vermont shore, and had had no 
grain. In a short time they were broken down. 

Burgoyne and his officers had a mountain of baggage — fine uniforms, 
ruffl-cd shirts, camp equipage, and things good to eat. They must have 
wine at dinner ; and there was so much to be transported — boats, cannon, 
powder, balls, tents, pots, kettles, biscuit, beef, pork, sugar, rum, rice, wine, 
trunks, bales, and boxes — and the teams were so poor and so few, that it 
was slow work. 

The trouble was, Burgoyne and all his officers liked to play cards and 
drink wine too well, not unfrequently sitting up all night, and consequent- 
ly were not fit for business in the morning. From the middle of July to 
the middle of September, Burgoyne was employed in getting ready to 
move on. 

Meanwhile, the Americans were assembling. General Gates now had 
eight or nine thousand men, with a line of strong fortifications in front of 
Burgoyne. General Stark was on his left flank. Colonel Brown, with 
some troops, captured three hundred British near Ticonderoga, and a ves- 
sel containing provisions and ammunition. He captured also several can- 
non, and made an ^.ttack upon Ticonderoga. 

Burgoyne found that he must move on, and be quick On 
the 13th of September, !ie built a bridge of boats, and crossed to the west 
bank of the Hi^son. He might have gone down the east bank, but Lord 
Xortli and Lord" Germain had given him strict orders to go to Albany, and 
he was, therefore, obliged to cross the river. On the 18th, he went into 
camp two miles north of Mr. Xeilson's house, on Mr. Freeman's farm. 

There was a frost on the ground the next morning. The grass in the 
fields was white with it. ' The air was calm, and the sun shone from a 
cloudless sky. The blue smoke curled up from hundreds of camp-fires, 
and rested upon the hills. 

All through the forenoon Dodifer could hear a confused sound in the 
British camp — the beating of drums, the rumbling of cannon-wheels and 



baorcrao^e-wao-oiis. Buro-ovne had a o^reat train of artillery down by the 
river, under General Phillips. The Hessians, under General Reidesel, 
were there. The right wing was commanded by General Fraser, and was 
composed of the Biitish light -infantry, the grenadiers, and the riflemen 
under Colonel Breyman. Fraser had also a regiment of Tories and the 

General Burgoyne directed the Tories and Indians to creep up to a ra- 
vine where the American pickets were, and begin an attack, which would 
attract the attention of tlie Americans ; and, while they were hastening to 
that point, he would make a march witli the light-infantry and grenadiers 
west through the woods, o^et close up to the breastworks, fire his cannon 
to let Beidesel know he was ready, and then, down by the river, and up 
in the woods, the battle would begin in earnest. 

It was a very nice plan, but the American pickets all along the line 
were on the lookout. At half -past eleven, those away out on the left dis- 
covered Fraser's movement, and sent 
word to General Gates. 

Colonel Moro-an and the sur- 
geon of Morgan's brigade are in 
the quartermaster's tent. Colonel 
Lewis, the quartermaster, has in- 
vited them in to lunch. His cook 
has broiled some kidneys, and pep- 
pered them hot. The quartermas- 
ter has a jug of rum. They call 
the jug Brown Betty, and Colonel 
Morgan is kissing Brown Betty's 
lips, when a sergeant enters the 

" Is this Colonel Morgan ?" the 
sergeant asks. 
" That is my name." ^ 

" I am Genei-al Arnold's orderly, andlim directed to hand this to you," 
says the sergeant, presenting a paper. 

Colonel Morgan sets the jug upon the ground, and reads the ps 
" It shall be done, or my name is not Dan," he says, bringir 
fist down upon the table, jumping from his seat, and running out.. 

Colonel Lewis and Dr. Potts wonder what it all means, but soon . 
that the paper is an order from General Arnold : 

"The enemv in force is advancino- to turn the left of our position. 




Colonel Morgan will meet him with his commandj and instantly engage 
him," is the order. 

Colonel Lewis leaps into his saddle and rides up to Morgan's quar- 
ters. He finds the regiment, between five and six hundred in all — more 
than half of them New Hampshire boys — ready to march. Dearborn 


leads off; Major Morris, of I^ew Jersey, and Major Butler, of Pennsyl- 
vania, with their battalions, follow. 

General Burgoyne has laid a very nice plan of attack. The Indians 
and Canadians are slowly working their way up through the woods. In a 
few minutes they will fall upon General Gates's left wing. The Sixty- 
second regiment is close behind them, and 
General Fraser is following. He will strike 
a blow which will be felt ; but Colonel Mor- 
gan is going to make some alterations in 
Burgoyne's plan. 

Dearborn forms his line, and comes up 
to the American pickets, who have been 
slowly falling back. The !N"ew Hampshire 
boys soon make it so hot for the savages 
that they flee thiough the woods, followed 
b|r the Canadians. Morris and Butler file into line, and Morgan moves 
on through Mr. Neilson's wheat -field. Mr. J^eilson has girdled the great 



210 THE BOYS OF 76. 

trees, and the dead trunks, blackened by lire, are standing thick in the 
field, in the middle of which is the Sixty-second British regiment, which 
numbers six hundred. The noon-day sun falls in the men's faces as they 
stand there looking south-west. The riflemen open fire. Each man loads 
and fires, taking deliberate aim at the line of red-coated men. The Brit- 
ish see the puffs of w^hite smoke rolling op amidst the limbless trunks, 
and fire rapidly, but at random, and wildly. 

The riflemen charge upon the British, and drive them. They follow 
on, but soon come face to face with the Twentieth, Twenty-first, and 
Ninth regiments, the grenadiers, and eiglit cannon. There is a blaze 
of fire %lono^ the whole British line. The cannon-shot crash throuofh the 
trunks of the trees, the air is tilled with leaden rain; the British advance, 
and the riflemen, in turn, are obliged to retreat. The battle has raged 
scarcely twenty minutes, but during that time terrible the slaughter in the 
Sixty-second regiment. More than half have been killed or wounded. 

Not many of the riflemen have fallen, but they are scattered in the 
woods. Colonel Morgan blows a w^histle, and its shrill notes ring through 
the forest, sharp and clear, above the noise and confusion. The riflemen 
hear it, and flock once more around their leader. 

General Burgoyne, thinking that he has put a large part of the Ameri- 
cans to flight, advances toward the intrenchments. 

The three New Hampshire regiments, under General Poor, were be- 
hind the intrenchments by Neilson's house. They heard the volley of the 
riflemen, and the louder volley of the British light-infantry, and the roar 
of the British cannon. They could see the smoke of battle rolling above 
the trees. Then came the lull, and some of the riflemen were running to 
the intrenchments. 

" Forward !" said General Poor, and Scammell's regiment filed down a 
path toward the ravine. Colonel Cilley and Colonel Hale followed with 
their regiments. 

Dodifer and Nicholas were together once more. They could hear a 
rattling fire down on their right toward the river ; but the Tories and Ca- 
nadians there were getting the worst of it, for thirteen had been killed, 
and thirty-five captured. 

They met a rifleman who informed them that Captain Van Swearin- 
gen and Lieutenant Morris, and twenty of the riflemtu had been capt- 
ured ; that the regiment was very much scattered, and that the British 
were pressing on. The next moment Dodifer and Nicholas found them- 
selves face to face with the enemy. There were fifteen hundred Amei* 
leans against three thousand British. 


There were i?ollejs on both sides. The Few Hawipshire men took de^ 
liberate aiuij fired, and stepped behind trees while loading. The British 
soon foimd that tliej had a stubborn foe before them* The men who had 
fonght at Blinker Hillj Trenton, and Princ^eton were not going to run at 
the first fire. Not an in eh. of ground would thej yield. The battle raged 
f uriousljj the British slowlj advanoing, the Few Hampshire boji standing 
their ground. 

From two o^elook till four, the three Few Hampshire regiment^ with 
Dearborn^s Few Hampshire battalion, and the few rifiemen that Morgan 
had called baok, faoed the whole of Frasers forae. Thej compelled the 
British to give way, but Fraser rallied them. The British prej^red to 
eharge ba^^onets, 

" Charge ! eharge ^ was the orj that ran along their lines, and the 
light4nfantry oame sweeping through the woods witli a hurra; but the 
Few Hampshire bojs let them have a volley in their faoes, and drove 
tliem baok again. 

The British officers were brave men. Several of them were earls, 
lords, or baronets. Their reputation was at stake. They ran along the 
wavering lines and rallied the men, encouraging some, swearing at oth= 
ers; but the men in homespun clothes, fighting in their sliirt - sleeves, and 
some of them without shoes or stockings, born in log-cabins, and having 
no title of nobility, were just as brave and noble as any of the earls, lords, 
and members of Parliament of England, A title does not always confer 
nobility. Worth makes the man. The Few Hampshire men had no 
thought of yielding the ground so long as their ammunition held out. 

The eight cannon which Burgoyne has brought into position are all 
thundering* They add to the uproar, but do veij little harm. The Few 
Hampshire troops have no cannon ; the artillery is behind the breastworks 
at Feilson'i house. Dodifer and his comrades pick off the artillery-'men 
one by one, and shoot the horses. 

" Let us take the cannon P^ some one says. 

" Hurra P' 

In an instant, almost before they know what they are about, fhiy are 
rushing forward up to the mimdm of the guns. The artillery-men fiee. 
Dodifer and Ficholai mim a gun, and begin to turn it round, but the next 
moment the light=infantry are sweeping down npon them. They see a 
line of gleaming bayonets, and they in turn are obliged to run. The light- 
infantry follow them with a yell. That does not frighten the Few Hamp^ 
shire boys, but inspirits them, They turn about and meet their puriueri, 
aad the battle goes on ^hotter than ever. 



General Eeidesel is down by the river, waiting for orders from Bur- 
goyne. He hears the din of the conflict growing louder every moment, 
and fears that things are going badly. ■♦' He sends an officer up to see if he 
is wanted, and the officer returns with a request for him to hasten up to 
support Burgoyne, who thinks that he us fighting nearly the whole army 
under Gates, whereas up to this moment only Morgan and the JSTew Hamp- 
shire men have taken part. Reidesel starts with a portion of his men and 
several cannon. 

The New Hampshire men have fired away nearly all of their ammu- 


nition, and there is a lull in the 
strife, while they fall back and 
wait for more powder. 

It is half-past three. Burgoyne and Fraser think that they have driv- 
en the Americans, and are reforming their lines to storm the intrench- 
ments; but suddenly the battle begins again. Colonel Cook, with the 
Connecticut men, leaves the intrenchments, moves forward, and joins the 
jSTew Hampshire men. 

The British are on the north side of the ravine, through which flows a 
little brook. The Americans are on the south side, and the battle rages, 
now on one side and now on the other. 

Half -past four. General Reidesel is coming up through the woods 
with one regiment, two companies, and several cannon. The Hessians 
come into line east of the British light -infantry. The artillery unlimber. 
But others besides the New Hampshire and Connecticut men are taking 
part in the battle now. Colonel Brooks, Colonel Learned, and Colonel 


Marshall, commanding three Massachusetts regiments, and Colonel Yan 
Cortlandt, and Colonel James Livingston, with two New York regiments, 
are in front of Burgoyne, and the battle is terrific. 

Things are going badly on the British side. The Sixty -second regi- 
ment is cut to pieces. Colonel Anstruther and Major Harnage wounded ; 
a great many captains and lieutenants killed or wounded, and the whole 
force on the point of retreating. Captain Jones has lost thirty-six of his 
artillery-men, and has not enough left to work his guns. , 

During a lull in the battle, Dodifer can hear the British officers giving 
their orders to get ready to charge bayonets, and then the British come 
through the w^oods ; but there is a ripple, a roar, like a great wave of the 
sea breaking upon the rocks, and the British line tumbles to pieces. 

General Arnold is riding along the American lines, encouraging the 
soldiers, and Dodifer sees a stout man riding here and there along the 
British lines. He is in the thickest of the fight, encouraging and rallying 
the wavering troops. It is the same officer that commanded the British 
at Hubbard ton — General Fraser. He has left his home on the banks of 
a beautiful lake in Scotland to win glory in America. Dodifer admires 
his bravery. 

Six o'clock. It is sunset, on this 19th day of September. All through 
the afternoon the battle has raged in the fields and woods, and along the 
ravine. Bargoyne has not reached the American intrenchments. The 
Americans have not fought behind breastworks, but have met him in the 
fields and woods. He did not expect to encounter such stubborn resist- 
ance, and is amazed. His troops have fought bravely, but have gained no 
advantage. He has lost a great many men, and some of his ablest offi- 
cers ; and now the sun goes down, and the main body of the Americans, 
as twilight comes on, retire to their intrenchments, to rest till the morning. 
Not all go back, for through the evening small parties hang on Burgoyne's 
flank, creep up close to his lines, and pour in a volley now and then. 

Burgoyne confidently expected in the morning to strike the American 
right flank such a blow that every rebel would take to his heels ; but he 
has made no ad\ ance, and is perplexed to know what to do next. His 
wearied ti'oops lio down upon the battle-fleld beneath the stars, with the 
dead and dying around them. Little sleep do they get with the rattling of 
wagons here and there, picking up the wounded, and the American pickets 
firing every few minutes. 

Burgoyne tries to make himself think that he has won a victory; but 
there is the thought that it was his object to advance, that he has not made 

,,a4 THE BOYS OF 70, 

any progi^s, that the AuimQan§ are ready to dispute every iiich of ground 
ill the morning, that the object of the Americans was to stop him^ and in 
that they have succeeded. He has lost between six and seven hundred 
men, and the Americans less than thi*ee hundred. 

Dodifer and Nicholas lie down to sleep, quite well satisfied with what 
they have done. They have fought the British in the open field, and are 
ready to iight them again, confident that they can defeat them. 

The sun rises clear on the morning of the 20th ; the smoke of the bat- 
tle-field hangs along the valley. Bodifer and Kicholas ai^ ready for the 
battle^ or would be if they only had some powder and balls. They do not 
know that there is very little powder in camp— not enough for another bat- 
tle ; but General Gates knows it. Ko order comes to I'enew the attack. 
Burgoyne does not care to renew it. The pickets hear a sound of axeSj 
and soon report that Burgoyne is erecting breastworks. Instead of attack- 
ing, he is afraid of being attacked. 

General Gates will wait for more powder ; besides^ time is his ally. 
Fresh tjH>op8 are on their way, and Burgoyne^s prnvisions ai^ §ix)\ving lesSv 
He, better than Bui^goyne, oan affoi^d to wait 




AFTER the battle of Brandy wine, General Washington retreated to- 
ward Philadelphia. The army was defeated, but not discouraged, 
though the soldiers were in a sad plight. They had lost a great deal of 
baggage — tents and blankets, and they had bai-ely food enough to last from 
day to day. More than a thousand were barefoot; yet in a day or two 
they were ready for another battle, and stood resolutely facing the British. 

The two armies were twenty miles west of Philadelphia. General 
Howe determined, if possible, to get possession of the city by skillful 
manoeuvring instead of lighting another battle, for, though he had won 
the victory at Brandywine, he had lost a great many men. To accom- 
plish this object, he must cross the Schuylkill River. He marched north- 
east, as if intending to cross at Swedes' Ford, and approach the city from 
the north. 

Washington saw the movement, and crossed the Schuylkill nearer the 
city, to be ready to face him. Bat Howe, instead of crossing the river, 
marched up the w^est bank. Where was he going? It was plain enough 
that he was after the beef, pork, flour, and other supplies which had been 
collected at Reading, away up the river; and, to save them, Washington 
made a rapid march up the east bank. 

Captain Elijah Favor had a great deal of riding to do. He was kept 
in advance of the army, obtaining information of Howe's movements — not 
an easy thing to do, for many of the people were Tories, and gave him 
false information. Many narrow escapes he had from capture by the Tory 
troopers sent out by Howe to scour the country. 

But General Howe, although marching toward Reading, had no in- 
tention of going there. What were a few barrels of beef and flour in 
comparison with the greater prize — Philadelphia? He was marching to 
get Washington away from the city, and had succeeded, for the American 
army had pressed on through IN'orristown to Pottstown. Howe was on the 
west bank of the river, opposite Pottstown. Suddenly he faced about, 

\ • ■ 



made a rapid march, crossed the river at IS'orristown, and was in possession 
of the prize. He had won it witliout fighting another battle. He encamp- 


ed the army six miles cut of the city, at Germantown, while Washington 
went into camp about twelve miles north' of that place. 




The British army was encamped in a delightful old town. There was 
a wide and level street a mile long, with houses on both sides, many of 
them more than one hundred years old, with porches and verandas, 
where the German citizens were accustomed to sit in the summer even- 
ings and smoke their long-stemmed pipes, and tell stories of the father- 
land. Behind the houses were nice gardens, filled with cabbages, which 
they made into sourkrout. 

On Sundays the people of Germantown assembled for worship in a 
little old meeting-house with a low roof. They were Tunhers — which is 
the German for "Dippers" — Baptists who kept the seventh day for Sun- 
day. Some of the people were Whigs and some Tories. Judge Chew, who 
lived at the north end of the street in a large stone house, on the east side 
of the road, was a Tory. He was rich, and a judge, and rode in a coach, 
with a driver and footman in gold-laced cocked hats. He lived in fine 


style, with a retinue of servants. The grounds around the house were 
beautifully laid out. He had some charming daughters, and it was a de- 
lightful place for the British officers to spend an afternoon or evening. 

The owner of so fine an estate — being a judge, a public man, and loyal 
to the king — was greatly respected by General Howe and other British 
officers. They took care that his property should not be destroyed, and 
a guard was kept about the premises. Judge Chew gave grand receptions 
to the officers and all the big-wigs. It was delightful to the officers, after 
their hardships in the field, to be invited to one of Judge Chew's entertain- 
ments, and spend the evening in the society of the agreeable young ladies 
of the city. 

The house stood on the southern slope of a hill, called Mount Airy. 



From the top of the hill, a road ran south-west to 'the Wissahicon Creek, 
and across it to the Manatawny road, which runs parallel with the creek, 
and'crosses it at its mouth. Another road, called School-house Lane, leads 
from the Manatawny road, below the creek, up to the Germantown road, 
and crosses it— running north-east. East of Germantown, it is called the 


Limekiln road. The market-house stands at the crossing; but east of the 
Limekiln road is another — the Old York road. 

This is tlie way the British army was encamped : The right wing ex- 
tended out to the York road. The Queen's Kangers, under Colonel Simcoe, 
were there, and south of them were the Guards. On tlie Limekiln road 
was the light -infantry, under General Grant; w^hile along School -house 
Lane was the left wing, composed of Hessians, under General Ejiyphausen. 


General Howe Iiad his liead- quarters about a mile south of the market- 

At the north end of the town^ in the field opposite Judge Chew^s, was 
the Fortieth regimentj under Colonel Musgrove. He had two cannon on 
the top of Mount Airjj in the road bj Mr. Allen's house. The pickets 
were a short distance bejond. 

Although General Washington had been defeated at Brandjwine— 
although he had lost Philadelphiaj he was ready to give battle any day ; 
but General Howe seemed to be contented witli wlmt he had aaoomplish- 
edj and made no moTement, 

Wasliington resolved to make a night marchj and fall upon Howe, He 
would attack at four points at the same time : sending one columUj under 
Colonel Forman and Colonel Smallwoodj down the York road^ to attack 
the Bangers ; another, under General Greene, with General Stevens and 
General M'Dougallj down the Limekiln road, to attack the troops under 
General Grant ; one, under General Armstrong, to go down the Mana- 
taw'ny roadj cross the Wissahicon, and attack the Hessians there ; while 
Washington himself j with Wayne, K'ash, Maxwell, Sullivan^ and Conway, 
and Knox, with the artillery, would move down the main road, drive Col- 
onel Musgrove from Mount Airy, and attack the Hessians under Knyp- 

The morning of the 4th of October was selected for the attack. It was 
seven o'clock in the evening previous when the columns started. General 
Washington had ordered the pickets the day before not to permit any one 
to pass toward the city, and no information of the movement reached Gen- 
eml Howe. Colonel Forman and Colonel Smallwood, having farther to 
march than the other columns, started first The otlier columns started in 

The night wms dark, the road uneven, and the cannon rumbled heavily 
over the stones. Before morning, a thick fog set in, and the column made 
slow progress. It was a march of twelve miles, and day was breaking 
when General Conway's troops, who led the column commanded by Wash- 
ington, came upon the British pickets north of Allen's house, who fled and 
gave the alarm. The British artillery-men were asleep in their tents, but 
sprung to their feet, lighted their port-fires, rammed home a cartridge, and 
fired at random into tlie f og*. 

The deep, heavy roar awoke every soldier in the British army, and in 
less than a minute drums were beating down in the field by Judge Chew's 
house, in the light - infantry camp by the market - house, in the Hessian 
camp south -west of the market - house | while out in the camp of the 



Queen's Eaugers there was a quick saddling of horses. Nobody knew 
what was going on ; but a minute later there was a roll of small-arms. 

Sullivan was behind M'Dougall. His men jumped over the fence on 
the right-hand side of the road, dashed across a field, and came to the lane 
leading from Allen's house to the Schuylkill. 

South of the lane, the Fortieth British regiment was encamped ; and 
the soldiers were putting on their cartridge-boxes, and the officers buckling 
on their swords, when Sullivan's men fell upon them. Some were shot 
down at once, some fled, others returned the fire. 

" To the house !" shouted Colonel Musgrove ; and about half of the 
regiment rushed to Judge Chew's house. Its stone walls would make a 
fortress. The British soldiers entered the house, and poured a terrible fire 
from the windows npon Sullivan's men, many of whom were shot down. 
The other British soldiers fled through Gerraantown. 

*' Let us leave these men in the house and push on," said General 

" Oh no^ that will never do. We must not leave a fort with five hun- 



dred men in it in our rear," said Knox. " We will bring up the artillery 
and knock it to pieces." 

" While doing it we shall lose the main chance," said Eeed. 

" We will leave it to General Conway," said Knox. 

General Conway decided to wheel the artillery into position and batter 
the honse to pieces. A messenger was sent with a white flag demanding 
the surrender of the house, but was killed by a shot from the windows. ^ 

" Set the house on fire," said one. 

"I will do it," said Major White, one of Sullivan's aids. He was a 
brave man. He ran up to the house on the rear, where there were no 
windows, with a fire - brand, and held it against the wood - work ; but a 
British soldier discovered what he was doing, ran down cellar, and fired 
out of the cellar-window, and the brave young ofiicer fell dead, with the 
fire-brand in his hand. 

General Wayne, with his division, had got a good distance past the 
house, but, finding that Sullivan and Conway had halted, came back to 
help capture the British. Knox wheeled his artillery into position to rid- 
dle the house with shot, and killed some of the soldiers inside, but found 
it no easy matter to batter down the walls. He would have to punch 
many a hole through the edifice before the walls would crumble. 

W- ile ';his was going on. General Greene was pushing down the Lime- 
kiln roau. He had farther to march than Washington, and it was three- 
quarters of an hour after the firing of the cannon at Allen's before he fell 
upon the light-infantry east of the market-house. He heard the roar of 
battle through the fog, and knew that the British would all be under 
arms. He suddenly found himself face to face with a body hastening 
toward Chew's house, and the fight began in the orchards, fields, and gar- 
dens. There was a great deal of firing at random. 

Small wood and For man, for some reason, failed to drive in the Tories, 
and so turn the right flank of the British. General Howe was surprised 
at the vigor of the attack ; he was thinking of retreating. 

Neither Washington nor Howe could see what was going on. Men 
got lost : Americans fell into the hands of the British, and British into the 
hands of the Americans. In a short time all was confusion. The sol- 
diers flred at random ; but General Greene pushed his way into German- 
town, and met General Agnew, of the British troops, advancing toward 
Judge Chew's house. Sullivan, with Colonel Armstrong, commanding a 
regiment of j^orth Carolinians, swept down toward Wissahicon Creek, and 
drove the British there back into Germantown ; but the fog was so tliick 
that no one could tell what was going on. 

222 THE BOYS OF '76. 

" We are snrronnded/' said some of the soldiers, hearing the firing at 
Chew's house in the rear; and the soldiers in Sullivan's division, just when 
victory was in their grasp, took to their heels. The officers tried to stop 
them, but in vain. The golden moment was lost, and the whole army re- 
treated. They had lost one hundred and fifty-two killed, and five hun- 
dred and twenty-one w^ounded, besides some prisoners — nearly one thou- 
sand in all. General Howe lost about eight hundred, among them two of 
his best oflicei's, General Agnew and Lieutenant-colonel Bird. 

The American army did not go back to its old camp, but to White- 
marsh, six miles from Gennantown. The soldiei's w^ere not discouraged, as 
after the battle at Brandywine, for they had attacked the British and all 
but defeated them. 





ANTHONY'S NOSE is a mountain in the Highlands, on the east bank 
of the Hudson, nearly eleven hundred feet high. Its sides are steep, 
and white granite ledges crop out here and there, and great bowlders are 
scattered at its base. On the other side of the river, a little lower down, 
rises Dunderberg, the Thunder Mountain. Up beyond its rocky defiles, in 
the Catsbergs, Rip Yan Winkle saw the old bowlers at play, and drank 
some of their schnapps, and had his twenty years of sleep, according to 
the old legend. These two mountains form the gate-way of the Hudson, 
and through it winds the noble river. 

On the east bank, two miles below Anthony's Nose, the Americans 
erected Fort Independence, and on the west bank, opposite the Nose, Fort 
Clinton, and just above it Fort Montgomery. Fort Clinton required a gar- 
rison of about four hundred men, Fort Montgomery about eight hundred. 
A great iron chain was „ _ _ 


stretched across the 
and a boom made of logs. 
Above the boom were sev- 
ei^l ships. These were the 
defenses of the Highlands ; 
and it was believed that tlie 
British fleet never would be 
able to get past them. 

The month of Septem- 
ber came, and this is the 
way the men stood npon 
the chess-board : Up at Sar- 
atoga, General Burgoyne 


was trymg to push south- 

ward, but was confronted by General Gates. In the Highlands was Gen- 
eral Putnam, with nearly fl^e thousand men, many of them New England 



militia, with no British army in front of him nearer than New York, where 
Sir Henry Clinton was in command ; but he h^d few troops, for General 
Howe had sailed into Chesapeake Bay with nearly the whole army, and 
was moving to capture Philadelphia. General Washington was out on the 
Brandywine, trying to prevent him from taking that city. Washington 
wanted more troops; and as Sir Henry Clinton had no force that he could 
send up the Hudson to aid Burgoyne, he sent an order to Putnam to for- 
ward twenty-five hundred men to Philadelphia. 

The troops marched south, leaving Putnam only fifteen hundred mili- 
tia, besides six hundred farmers from Dutchess and Ulster counties, in New 


York, who came in to help garrison Fort Montgomery and Fort Clinton. 
There was also a small garrison in Fort Independence. General James 
Clinton commanded Fort Clinton ; and his brother George, who became 
the fii'st Governor of New York, commanded Fort Montgomery. They 
were in no way related to Sir Henry Clinton. They were brave men ; but 
neither they nor General Putnam had any expectation of being attacked. 

General Burgoyne was in trouble.' St. Leger had failed at Fort 
Schuyler ; Baume and Breyman had been routed at Bennington ; and he 
himself had been defeated at Stillwater. He had heard nothing from 


New York, and wondered if the army, wliicli he expected would mqgj him 
at Albany, had started. He 'sent a message to Sir Henry, and the messen- 
ger, piloted by Tories, had no difficulty in getting through the American 
lines. Sir Henry sent him back again, with the information that he was . 
about to move up the Hudson, and attack the forts in the Highlands. He 
could do it, now that General Kobertson had arrived from England with 
two thousand fresh troops. 

Sir Henry sent spies up to Peekskill to find out the situation of affairs 
— Tories who had enlisted in the king's service, under Governor Tryon, 
the former Governor of I^orth Carolina and Kew York. One of the spies, 
Nathan Palmer, a lieutenant in a Tory regiment, was discovered at Peeks- 
kill, and arrested. A court-martial was called by General Putnam to try 
him. The general would not have him executed as General Howe exe- 
cuted Nathan Hale, without a trial. It was proved that Palmer was a 
lieutenant in Tryon's regiment. 

Governor Tryon heard of the arrest, and sent a letter to General Put- 
nam, claiming that Palmer was a British officer, and threatening vengeance 
if he was executed. The threat did not frighten Putnam, who sent back 
this reply : 

" SiE,— Edmund Palmer, an officer in the enemy's service, was taken 
as a spy, lurking within our lines. He has been tried as a spy, condemn- 
ed as a spy, and shall be executed as a spy ; and the flag is ordered to 
depart immediately. Israel Putnam. 

"P.S. — He has been accordingly executed. 

The Tories kept clear of Putnam after that. 

On Saturday evening, October 4th, Sir Henry Clinton and General 
Yaughan, with three frigates and a large fleet of schooners and boats, with 
five thousand men on board, left New York, and sailed up the Hudson. 
The wind was fair, the night dark. The Americans up in the Highlands 
knew nothing of the movement. 

On Sunday morning, the British were at Tarrytown; and before noon, 
Sir Henry landed three thousand men at Yerplanck's Point, eight miles 
below Peekskill. 

Messengers rode up the river spreading the news. General Putnam 
sent riders in every direction alarming the people. The countrymen who 
were at church hastened home, seized their guns, and started to aid in 
driving back the invaders. They came into Putnam's camp ; and by 
night he had two thousand men. He was sure that Sir Henry intended 


226 THE BOYS OF 76. 

to nKil'ch to Peekskill, and from there get in rear of Fort Independence; 
for the three frigates had moved up and dropped anchor within cannon- 
shot of the fort. General Putnam sent an officer to General James and 
General Geor2:e Clinton. 

" Send me all the men you can spare," was liis order. 

Monday morning dawned. A heavy fog hung over the river, and 
under its cover Sir Henry made his next move. He had no intention of 
attacking Fort Independence, but was after other game. 

The troops which had landed at Yerplanck's went on board the boats, 
rowed across the river, and landed at Stony Point — all except some regi- 
ments of Tories under Colonel Bayard and Colonel Fanning, Governor 
Tryon's son-in-law. Governor Clinton and his brother were on the alert. 
They suspected that the landing at Yerplanck's was only a feint. They 
remembered how General Clinton, leading the British army, had entered 
the back door at Long Island, and Major Logan, with one hundred men, 
w^as sent up to Dunderberg to keep watch. Major Logan soon sent back 
word that forty boats had crossed to Stony Point. 

Another party of thirty men went out from Fort Clinton, over the hills 
behind Dunderberg, on the road leading to Haverstraw, and suddenly 
found themselves face to face with the British. Crack ! went their rifles, 
and the British fired in return ; but the bullets fell harmlessly around the 
Americans, who fled to the forts, giving the alarm. 

"The British are approaching the forts," was the message which Gov- 
ernor. Clinton sent to General Putnam, by a man named Waterbury. But 
the man was a traitor. He left the fort, secreted himself, and the next 
day joined the British. 

So it came about that on Monday afternoon, while Sir Henry Clinton 
and General Yaughan were approaching the rear of the forts, along the 
steep and narrow mountain-roads. General Putnam was out on horseback 
reconnoitring the enemy at Yerplanck's, wondering why they did not ad- 
vance, and in utter ignorance of what Sir Henry was doing, till he heard 
the rattle of muskets from the other side of the Hudson behind Dunder- 
berg. All the while the two generals in the forts were wondering why 
Putnam did not send re-enforcements — little thinking that the messenger 
was a traitor, and hiding in the woods. 

Out on the bank of a gurgling brook, south-west of the forts, in the 
ravine between Bear Hill and Dunderberg, the British army divided. 
Lieutenant-colonel Campbell, with nine hundred men, took a narrow road 
leading around Bear Hill. He had the Fifty -second and Fifty -seventh 
regiments, a battalion of Hessians under Colonel Emerick, and a regiment 




of Tories. A Tory, who knew the road, piloted them. They wer^o at- 
tack Fort Montgomery ; but had to make a march of seven miles. 

Sir Henry Clinton halted with the remainder of the troops a w^hile ; 
for it was only three miles that he had to march to get in rear of Fort 
Clinton. His men rested beneath the trees till nearly three o'clock, and 
then moved toward the fort. 

Lieutenant-colonel Campbell, with the left-hand column, winds around 
Bear's Hill, descends into a ravine, crosses a brawling stream called by the 
Dutch Peploap's Kill, climbs another hill, turns east, and approaches the 


fort. Suddenly a cannon blazes in front of them. Governor Clinton has 
sent out a cannon and sixty men. The roar of the gun rolls over the 
mountains. The governor hears it, and sends another cannon with one 
hundred men. 

It is an unequal contest — only one hundred and sixty against nine 

While the British are forming, the Americans from behind the trees 
keep up a destructive fire, and the cannon roar again and again. One of 
the guns bursts ; but they keep up the fight with the other till the British 

228 THE BOYS OF 76. 

chai^ bayonets, and then the gunners, after driving a spike into the vent- 
hole, retreat to the fort. 

Sir Henrv CHnton is working^ toward Fort Mont^romerv alono^ a narrow 
path. He marclies down the valley, and comes to the shore of a pond — 
Sinnipink the Dutch called it; but since the battle it has been known as 
Bloody Pond, for on that night blood flowed freely on its shores. Be- 
tween the pond and the river the Americans have built a strong abatis; 
and while Sir Henry's pioneers are clearing a way through it with their 
axes, the Americans pour down a deadly fire. But the Americans are few 
and the British many, and the abatis is cleared at last; and Sir Henry 
with his troops are ready to attack the fort. He sends a white flag, and 
the officer carrying it bears this summons: 

" The vgari'isons of both forts must surrender within five minutes, or 
they will be put to the sword." 

To surrender is to yield their liberty without a struggle ; that were un- 
worthy of brave men. To surrender is to go to the old hulk — the prison - 
ship at Xew York — w^ith all its horrors ; that were worse than death. 

" The forts will be defended to the last," is the reply which Lieutenant- 
colonel Livingston carries from Governor Clinton to Sir Heniy Clinton. 

It is four o'clock. The three frigates have slipped past Fort Independ- 
ence, and make their appearance below the forts. The battle begins in 
earnest now. There are six hundred in the forts, when there should be 
fifteen hundred to make it an equal contest. Oh, if the troops under Put- 
nam were only there ! But the traitor ig hiding. Putnam hears the up- 
roar, but he is too far away to render aid. 

In the British ranks is a brave officer from Poland — Count Gi'abowski. 
He leads the grenadiers in a charge upon the fort, but three bullets pierce 
him, and he falls mortally wounded. Up by Fort Clinton, Colonel Camp- 
bell falls. Step by step only can the British gain ground. From four 
o'clock till dark the battle rages. 

I^ight comes, and under cover of the darkness the Americans fiee, 
some across the river, others up the bank, and some fall into the hands of 
the British. One of their prisoners is the brave boy, Esek Earl, w^ho has 
been in so many battles. With the other prisoners, he is taken to New 
York, and confined in the old hulk, the Jersey, at anchor between l^ew 
York and Brooklyn. 

Above the boom is a fleet of American vessels, but the wind is against 
them, and they can not escape. The crews set them on fire, push off in 
boats, and escape to the mountains. Magnificent the scene on that dark 
and cloudy night. The flames light up the mountains. From the sides 



of the vessels belch forth slieets of flame, as the shotted guns become heat- 
ed; and then, as the magazines explode, great columns of flame shoot 
upward, illumining momentarily all the surrounding scene, and raining 
down a shower of golden light as the burning fragments fall into the 


One hundred cannon have been lost ; three hundred men have been 
killed, wounded, or taken prisoners. An immense amoupt of powder has 
been captured, besides other supplies. The forts are gone ; the great chain 
is broken. 

On this night of October 6th all obstructions are removed, and Sir 
Henry Clinton, with his army of nearly four thousand men, may move on 
to Albany to aid Burgoyne; but he is in no hurry. Is it because he is 
well satisfied with what he has accomplished ? In twenty-four hours he 
might be in possession "of Albany, and moving on to Saratoga, and the 
army under Gates would be scattered right and left, and the grand plan 
thought out by Burgoyne accomplished. Why does Sir Henry wait a 
week before sending General Yaughan up to Esopus and Kingston, and 
then only to act the part of a marauder in burning those places? Who 
can teji? It is one of the mysteries of history. If he were, on this Mon- 



day night, to pusli on, wind and tide favoring, on Wednesday lie might be 
in Albany, and in possession of Gates's snpplies. Snch a movement would 
force Gates to leave his position in front of Biirgoyne. The relief would 
be timely. 

If to the Americans the night of the 4th at Germantown, and the 
night of the 6th at the base of the Dunderberg, are hours of gloom and 
despondency, tlie night of the 7th shall be one of hope upon the upper 
Hudson. If Sir Henry Clinton were to push on, he might even now turn 
the tide setting against Burgoyne. But he lingers, and the opportunity 
passes, never to return. 

Esek is in the old prison-ship. Oh, the horrors of the place ! It is 
crowded with men. Some are dying with fever, some with consumption. 
All are starving. They have little to eat, and that not lit to feed swine. 
The beef is tainted, their bread full of bugs and worms. They are cov- 
ered with vermin. They are in rags. The air is reeking with pestilence. 
Their cheeks grow thin and pale. They die like sheep, and are borne out 
and tumbled into a trench on the Long Island shore. The officer in com- 
mand is coarse and brutal. Humanity has fled from his bosom. General 
Clinton, as General Howe did befoi-e him, permits it all. 


Esek tried to keep up a brave heart, but his strength began to fail. He 
loathed the food. Sometimes the bread was made of bran, or moldy 
meal. The meat was so foul that he could not taste it. He had no blank- 
et, but was obliged to sleep on the bare deck. His clothes were only 
rags. No mother near to help him ; no one to comfort him : strength go- 
ing, life going, hope going day by day. 

Gone at last. Out to the trench they bear him, and lay him with the 
others. So the brave boy gives his life to his country. 




THE golden opportunity had passed away. The day after the Battle of 
Hubbardton, Burgoyne, if he had pressed on with what supplies he 
could carry, might have reached Albany without much opposition. The 
few dispirited troops under Schuyler would have been swept away like 
chaff before the wind ; but now an army larger than his own, securely in- 
trenched, blocked his way. General Stark and the men of Kew Hamp- 
shire had given him his first staggering blow at Bennington; and now he 
had received another blow, squarely in the face, mainly from New Hamp- 
shire men, the men through whose country he thought, when at Ticonde- 
roga, he could march to Boston. Burgoyne received startling news from 
the ]N"orth — that five hundred New England militia, on the night of the 25th 
of September, in the midst of a furious storm, had captured two hundred 
bateaux, an armed sloop, several gun -boats, provisions, ammunition, and 
two hundred and ninety -three prisoners at Ticonderoga. They had re- 
taken Mount Defiance, and only wanted heavy artillery to force the gar- 
rison in the fort to surrender. So his communication with Canada was 
cut oif. 

On the 29th of September, General Lincoln, with two thousand fresh 
troops from New England, arrived at Saratoga. During all these days 
Dodifer and Nicholas were hard at work building forts and intrench- 
ments, and cutting down trees. H there was a strong line on the day of 
battle, there was one far stronger now. 

The British soldiers were hard at work. Down 'by the river in front 
of his camp, Burgoyne built a strong breastwork, and planted his cannon 
behind it. His camp was on a pine plain, and he carried the breastwork 
across it toward the south, then it curved and ran north-west, inclosing the 
field on Mr. Freeman's farm. North-west of Mr. Freeman's half a mile, 
on a hill, the Hessians, under Colonel Breyman, threw up forts and breast- 

The Indians began to leave Burgoyne. They could see that the battle 


232 THE BOYS OF 76. 

iiad gone against liim, and they found tliat, instead of taking scalps, their 
own scalps were in danger. 

Every night the pickets fired at each other. One night a party of 
farmers came into camp and wanted a frolic. One of them took a trump- 
et, and the others, about twenty of them, with their guns, crept down close 
to the British lines. The man with the trumpet blew it as loud as he 
could, and the others set up a fearful yell. 

" Surrender, or you are dead men !" they shouted ; and the frightened 
sentinels threw down their guns and gave themselves up, thinking that the 
whole army was upon them, and the twenty citizens came into camp with 
their captives. 

General Burgoyne's hopes revived, for a messenger had reached him 
from New York with a letter from Sir Henry Clinton. It was dated Sep- 
tember 10th. Sir Henry said that he should go up the Hudson and at- 
tack Fort Clinton and Fort Montgomery, in the Highlands, the 20th of 

Burgoyne expected to see Gates sending off half his army southward, 
but, instead of that, Gates was receiving more troops every day. It seem- 
ed as if all New England were on the march toward Saratoga. Burgoyne, 
not disheartened, sent several messengers by different routes southward with 
letters to Sir Henry, telling him to hasten to Albany; that he had provisions 
enough to last till the 12th of October. But on tlie 1st of the month the 
British soldiers had to get along with only half as much food as they had 
been receiving. Although the soldiers were on short rations. General Bur- 
goyne and his generals sat down to good dinners; and, after dinner, drank 
the health of the king, the ministry, their friends, and success to the ex- 
pedition. Many of the officers had their wdves with them; and although 
the Americans were closing around them, they laughed, sung, played cards, 
and drank each other's health as if they w^ere out on a grand picnic. Gen- 
eral Reidesel had his wife and children along with him. His wife was a 
baroness, a good and noble woman. The nights were cool, and there were 
rainy days, bringing discomfort. One of the English officers had a house 
built for her, with a chimney and fire-place, as if the army had settled 
down there for the winter ! 

General Burgoyne wanted forage for his horses. There was a field of 
oats out beyond Breyman's camp toward the west, but Morgan with his 
riflemen were just beyond it, and to get the oats a large force must be sent 

It was the Yth of October, a beautiful morning. The Baroness Beide- 
sel thought that she must give a dinner party to Burgoj^ne and his officers. 


and invited them to dine with her in the afternoon. They accepted the 
invitation. They would return from the foraging expedition in season. 

Soon after breakfast, General Burgoyne, with General Fraser, General 
Phillips, and General Reidesel, started with about fifteen hundred men and 
several cannon. They took a path that led south-west to the field about 
three-quarters of a mile distant. They reached it, and the soldiers formed 
in line, and the forage men, with their sickles and scythes, began to gather 
the oats. Some of the ofiicers climbed upon the top of a house and looked 
southward to see what they could discover. General Burgoyne w^anted to 
know just how the American left was situated, and while the foragers 
were loading their carts he concluded to push on and find out. He sent 
the Indians and Canadians in advance. 

Nicholas was doing picket duty. He heard a noise partly behind him, 
and saw the Indians creeping toward him from the west. He fired at the 
nearest Indian, and then the guns began to rattle. The Indians came on 
with a whoop, and J^icholas and the other pickets had to take to their 
heels ; but not till they had discovered that behind the Indians were the 

The alarm had been given, and before they reached the lines Nicholas 
could hear the drums beating the long roll, and the shouts of. the officers 
calling upon the men to fall in. The Indians and grenadiers came almost 
to the lines, but Morgan and his rifiemen fell upon them and drove them 
back through the woods to General Burgoyne, who, instead of retreating, 
concluded that he would risk another battle, and ordered up the rest of 
the troops. 

This is the way the British army was drawn up : The light - infantry, 
under Earl Balcarras, were farthest west; next were some British troops, 
under General Phillips ; then the Hessians, under General Reidesel ; then 
farther east some grenadiers, under Major Ackland ; and the artillery, un- 
der Major Williams. 

General Fraser, with Rve hundred men, was in advance of the light- 
infantry. General Burgoyne planned to have the Hessians and other 
troops in the centre begin the battle; and when the Americans came out 
to attack Reidesel, he intended that Fraser should fall upon their fiank, 
and drive them pell-mell to their breastworks. It was a very good plan, 
but the game of flanking was one in which Morgan decided to have a 
hand. He marched west, took a circuit among the hills, and got into po- 
sition to fall upon Fraser's rear. 

It was past two o'clock when General Poor, with the three New ITamp- 
shire regiments — the same that had begun the battle at Trenton, and also 



on the 19tli of September — with a part of Learned's Massachusetts troops, 
inarched out from the intrenchments. The three New Hampshire regi- 
ments were farthest east, and their line of march would bring them direct- 
ly against Burgojne's artillery. Learned's line of march would bring him 
against the grenadiers. 

Dodifer was with General Poor, and Nicholas with Morgan. General 
Poor marched down the little brook called Mill Creek, muddy with the 
trampling of men, crossed it, and came close up to the artillery. Dodifer 
saw the cannon on the slope above, the artillery-men standing with lighted 

The next moment tliere was a roar, a crashing of the limbs of the trees 
above him, and a whizzing of shot over his liead. The cannon had been 

aimed too high, and very 
few soldiers fell. The 
small-arms joined in ; but 
the New Hampshire troops 
faced the fire, just as they 
faced the sleet and the 
snows of the winter storms, 
without flinching. They 
marched up the hill, al- 
most to the muzzles of the 
guns, before they fired. 

Dodifer and the sol- 
diers of his company 
sprung upon one gun, 
drove the gunners, and 
seized the piece ; but the 
next moment the grena- 
diers were upon them, and 


they had to give it up. 
They fell back, reloaded their guns, fired another volley, seized it a sec- 

ond time, but again w^ere driven. The fire was rolling along the Kne. 

Learned was attacking the Hessians and grenadiers. Once more the New 
Hampshire boys sprung upon the artillery, but were driven back. 

In the midst of this uproar, there came a volley from the west. Mor- 
gan, with fifteen hundred men, suddenly appeared; and Fraser, instead of 
having fallen upon the Americans, found that the Americans had fallen 
upon him. A part of Morgan's men fired upon Fraser's picked corps ; 
while the balance, under Major Dearborn, wheeled, and, with a cheer, 


SAEATOGA. ' 235 

rushed down upon the light - infantry. There was fighting all along the 
lines. The light -infantry were facing south-east, to meet Learned; but 
they found Dearborn coming from the south - west ; while behind them, 
toward the north-west, was Morgan. Attacked in front and in flank, the 
light -infantry began to waver; but the officers rallied them. The Hes- 
sians in front of Learned were standing firm. 

It was past three o'clock, when Learned's troops saw their old com- 
mander, General Arnold, ride down the lines. They received him with a 
cheer. He was not their commander now : there was a misunderstanding 
between him and Gates, and Arnold had demanded a pass to join General 
Washington, which Gates had granted. Gates was back in his head-quar- 
ters, and had not been upon the field. General Poor might issue orders to 
his ow^n brigade, Learned to his, Morgan to his ; but there was no general 
commander on the field. 

General Arnold had heard the roar of battle. From the breastworks 
at I^eilson's he could see the smoke, and get a glimpse of what was going 
on. He could remain quiet no longer, but sprung into his saddle and gal- 
loped toward the battle-field. 

"Bring him back. He'll do something rash," says General Gates to 
Major Armstrong. 

Arnold sees Major Armstrong following, and, thinking what his errand 
may be, dashes down the line, waving his sword. He has no right to give 
an order, but nevertheless gives one. 

" Forw^ard !" he shouts ; and the line, with a hurra, sweep upon the 

The fight is getting fiercer. The two armies are close together. Dod- 
ifer is in the thickest of the fight, his face and hands begrimed wfth pow- 
der. The smoke from the Hessian guns envelops him. Once more he 
rushes up to the muzzle of a cannon, and lays his hand upon it; and the 
grenadiers, under Major Ackland, rush up and fire at him. He and his 
comrades are once more driven back ; but in the ?nelee Major Ackland 
falls, with a shot through both legs. Major Williams, who is commanding 
the artillery, is w^ounded, and both officers fall into the hands of the Amer- 

Colonel Cilley, commanding one of the New Hampshire regiments, 
forms his men once more. He weaves his sword, and Dodifer rushes again 
into the white, sulphurous cloud upon the cannon. 

The artillery -men are few now. One by one the men have dropped 
beside the guns. Major Williams is not there to help them. The grena- 
diers are still ready to support them ; but Major Ackland is not there to 



animate them. Through tne cloud, up to the guns, rush Dodifer and his 

"Hurra!" It is theirs. The artillery -men flee, and the grenadiers 
have not the courage to attempt to recover it. Colonel Cilley leaps astride 
the cannon, waves his sword. Dodifer helps wheel it round, lays down his 
gun, seizes the port-fire, still smoking beside the gun. One of the soldiers 
rams home a cartridge, another primes it. Dodifer runs his eye along the 
sight, then touches it off, and the shot goes tearing through the Hessian 
ranks. To take a cannon from the enemy, and turn it upon them, fills 
him with new life. This pays for all the toils and hardships through the 
wilderness to Quebec, for the defeat at Ticonderoga and Hubbardton. He 
swings his hat, joins in the hurra, but the next moment clasps his hands 
upon his breast and falls upon the ground. 

A comrade bends over him. "Tell mother — that — that — I have — 
done — what — I — could." 


Oh, brave boy ! you gave all you had to give to your country — your 
life ! The world never will know how great the gift. And the mother far 
away in her humble, home, childless now, never again will hear the foot- 


steps of her boy, or gaze upon his manly face ; but it will be her joy to 
know that he did what he conld for his country. 

On the battle-field, Major Armstrong was trying to reach Arnold ; but 
Arnold did not stop to give him a chance. Wherever the fight was hottest, 
wherever the balls were flying thickest, there was Arnold riding reckless- 
ly, giving orders without authority, and directing all the movements, while 
Gates was in liis tent discussing the general question of the Revolution 
with Sir Francis Clark, who had been carried there a prisoner, mortally 

On the British side is an officer. General Fraser, who sees that the fort- 
unes of the day are turning against Burgoyne, and who is doing what he 
can to rally and inspirit tl:ie British. He, and not Burgoyne, is the real 
commander and leader. He brings order out of confusion. Now he is 
on horseback, now on foot in the thickest of the fight. At a critical mo- 
ment he is wounded, and borne from the field to the house where the Bar- 
oness Beidesel is staying. She has invited him and General Burgoyne to 
take dinner there. The and taken a hand in a 

cloth is laid, the table __. __j,. game of cards after din- 

spread, but the dishes are ""_^^ ^^^^ ^^^ ner; but he has emptied 
quickly removed, and ^ ^^^^ ^^^^^^ ^ his last goblet, played his 
the brave man, with the ■^ ^^ffi ii ^gE^^^ ^^ last game. Little heeds 
blood oozing from his '^^ ^^^^ ^ ^^^^^S ^® ^^^^ ^'^^^' ^^ battle. 
wound, laid upon the ta- '^^^^^^^^^^ His fighting is finished. 
ble. He was to have '''''''\ZZ^Z.r''''^^'^ He is thinking of his far- 
drank the king's health, away home among the 

mountains of Scotland, bright with the heather and broom. Never more 
will he behold them. He laments the ambition that led him to leave a 
beautiful Highland home. " Fatal ambition ! Poor General Burgoyne !" 
are the words that fall from his lips. He knows that the battle is going 
against Burgoyne. He knows that his own life soon will fade away. 

It is stated by most historians that General Fraser was riding every- 
where along the British line ; that Colonel Morgan called some of his rifle- 
men around him, pointed out Fraser, saying, " That is General Fraser ; I 
admire and honor him ; but it is necessary he should die. Take your sta- 
tions in yonder bushes, and do your duty," and that soon after General 
Fraser fell, shot, as has been supposed, by Timothy Murphy. 

There is reason to believe that there is not much truth in the story. 
Two of General Burgoyne's officers, after their return to England, testified ^ 
that Fraser was on foot when he was shot. It is reasonable to suppose 
that Morgan never had seen Fraser. He had had no opportunity to make 

238 THE BOYS OF 76. 

his acquaintance, never had met him except in the battle of the 19th of 
September. It is quite probable that Morgan directed his men to pick oft: 
the British officers, as a great many other generals have done in battle. 
There v^as a fearful loss of officers, but it is very doubtful if Morgan espe- 
cially pointed out Fraser to his men. 

The British light - infantry have given way. The man who has led 
them on, and encouraged them by his bravery, is no longer there to lead 
them. Down through the woods and across the field to their intrench- 
ments they flee. General Keidesel, General Phillips, and General Bur- 
goyne do what they can to rally the discouraged men, but vain their ef- 
forts. The Americans follow them. General Tenbroeck, with some IN'ew 
York troops, comes down from the American intrenchments to take part 
in the contest. Arnold is in his glory: He places himself at the head of 
Paterson's and Glover's brigade, leads them up to the trees which Bur- 
goyne has felled in front of his intrenchments, and fires at the British be- 
yond them ; but he can not storm the intrenchments there. 

Arnold rides to Leonard's brigade and leads it against the Canadians 
and Tories. Mcholas is in this charge. Colonel Brooks's Massachusetts 
regiment storms the Canadian breastworks. With a hurra the men leap 
over the logs, and drive the Canadians before them. This leaves the Hes- 
sian breastwork exposed. Having carried the Canadian line, Arnold rides 
to Livingston's and Wesson's regiment, and, with some of Morgan's men, 
charges Breyman's position. 

The Hessians have seen the ferocious man on a brown horse, riding 
everywhere upon the field, waving his sword amidst the smoke, and now he 
is attacking them. They fire a volley and fiee, panic-stricken, toward the 
Hudson. But the volley brings down the fearless rider. A bullet passes 
through the same leg that was wounded under the walls of Quebec. 
Though he falls, the men whom he is leading do not falter ; but rush on, 
over fallen trees, over the breastworks. Breyman falls mortally wounded, 
and the whole of his line gives way. Some of the Hessians fall upon their 
knees and surrender, and others throw away their guns and fiee through 
the woods toward their camp. 

It is sunset. Arnold is lying upon the ground bandaging his leg, when 
Major Armstrong, who has been chasing him for two hours, rides up and 
delivers General Gates's order. Arnold is ready to obey it now, for the 
victory is won. 

The October sun goes down upon a bloody field. Hundreds have been 
killed, hundreds wounded. It is a gloomy night to General Burgoyne. 
All his bright anticipations are gone forever. He will not sit down to a 




Christmas dinner with Sir Henry Clinton in Albany. Nearly all his troops 
have been engaged, while 
not half of the Americans 
have been upon the field. 
General Burgoyne was 
not ready to renew the 
battle the next day. He 
was in no condition to 
take the aggressive. Nor 
did General Gates at- 
tempt it. Time would 
give him the victory with- 
out the shedding of blood. The militia of New England were hastening 
to aid him. General Fellow^ had three thousand men on the east bank 
of the Hudson, and was sending his cannon-shot into Burgoyne's camp. 
General Stark, with two thousand, was on his way to Fort Edward to seize 
that point. 

General Eraser was dead. Out from the baroness's house his brother 
ofiicers bore him to his grave. It was a sad procession, and the shot from 
Fellows's guns covered the chaplain and the mourners with dust as they 
stood beside the grave. General Fellows soon saw that it was a funeral 
procession, and honored the brave man by firing minute-guns, so it was 
not hate that inspired the patriots in battle. They could honor their ene- 
mies while fighting for their liberties. 

It was sunset when Burgoyne and his officers stood there, and, amidst 
the roar of cannon, heard the chaplain, the Eev. Mr. Brudenell, read the 
solemn service for the dead — " Earth to earth, and dust to dust." Darkness 
came on. Dark clouds rolled up from the east, and the rain began to fall. 

Although the tempest was raging, 
Burgoyne's army was on the march. 
At Crown Point he had said, '' His 
army must not retreat;" but now, 
in the darkness and storm, it was 
on its way back to Fort Edward. 
All was confusion. The road was 
muddy. In the darkness men 
tumbled headlong to the ground. 
Teams broke down, or else w^ere 
stalled in the mud. The Baroness 
Reidesel and her children, and all the wives of the officers, w^ere out in the 





storm. .These ladies, who had lived delicately all their 
lives at home, through the long and dreary night were 
exposed to the chilling wind and the driving rain, -^ 
making hardly half a mile an hour, so crowded the 
road, so deep the mud, so great the confusion. 

General Burgoyne halted at 
six o'clock in the 
morning. He 
might have gone 
farther, but he 
was on his old 
camj3-ground, the 
iirst he had oc- 
cupied after cross- 
ing the Hudson. 

" Why doesn't General Burgoyne go on ?" asked the Baroness Keidesel. 
" He i^ tired, and means to halt here till night and give us a supper," 
said General Phillips, who was out of patience with Burgoyne. 

And a grand supper General Burgoyne gave to his officers. The wife 
of one of the officers of the commissary department, who was no better 
than she should be, sat by his side at the table, and drank Champagne 
with him, and the officers clinked their glasses, and laughed and sung 
songs, w^hile the poor wounded soldiers were lying half starved under 
the trees and fences, and the good Madame Keidesel was making them 

General Burgoyne had ordered the soldiers to set fire to General 

Schuyler's house and mill near 
his encampment, and the houses 
of all the Whigs, thus doing by 
the torch what damage he could 
not with the sword. 

General Burgoyne made an 
excuse for halting — because the 
boats in the river, containing his 
provisions, could not make head- 
way against the stream as fast as 
the army marched. The roads 
were so muddy that the Ameri- 
cans did not begin the pursuit 
till four o'clock in the afternoon of the 10th. On the morning of the 11th 




Bnrgojne found that they were upon him, and had captured some of the 
boats in the river. He was going to retreat along the same road down 
which he had come from Fort Edward, but 
General Fellows was in possession of it. 
Then he resolved to march up the west 
side of the Hudson, and cross the river op- 
posite Fort Edward ; but General Stark had 
sent Colonel Cochran to take possession of 
that point. 

General Fellows, on the east side of tlie Hudson, was sending cannon- 
balls into Burgoyne's camp once more. There was no place of safety for 
the sick and wounded, or the women and children. The Baroness Keidesel 
and several women, with a number of wounded officers, had to take refuge 
in the cellar of a house, and remain there day after day, holding their 
breath in terror as tlie cannon-balls crashed through the house. 


.iist-s. -#!. 

burgoyne's camp on the 13th of OCTOBER. 

Altliough they were close to the river, they could get no water, except 
what a courageous woman brought to them., The American soldiers in 
the w^oods on the east bank of tlie river would not fire upon her. 




On the afternoon of the 12th, Burgoyne held a council of his officers, 
and it was decided to make a rapid retreat to Ticonderoga — to cut their 
way through the Americans at Fort Edward ; but scouts said it was im- 
possible to retreat; The 
Americans had broken down 
all the bridges, and held the 

On the morning of the 
13th, Burgoyne called- an- 
other council. The officers 
met in a laro^e tent. Pret- 
tv soon musket -balls bescan 
to cut through the canvas. 
General Burgoyne was seat- 
ed at a table, asking the of- 
ficers what was to be done. 
Just then General Fellows 
sent an eighteen-pound can- 
non-shot into the tent and 
across the table, which set 
the officers thinking that 
somethino^ must be done 
very q^'ckly. 

" Shall we negotiate with 
General Gates ?" Burgoyne 
asked. The cannon-ball was 
a powerful argument in fa- 
vor of such a proposition. A 
drummer with a white flag 
went out toward ^e Amer- 
ican lines, and the riflemen 
stopped firing. An Ameri- 
can officer advanced to m.^t 
him, and so negotiations be- 
gan for a surrender of the 
British army on the 17th. 
faint gleam of hope came to Burgoyne. On the night of the 


16th, a messenger from Sir Henry Clinton worked his way past General 
Gates's sentinel, and reache^ Burgoyne. He had been several days on his 
journey; but Tories had helped him on. He had traveled up the east side 



of the Hudson, and brought joyful news. Sir Henry had taken the forts 
on the Hudson, and had sent General Yanghan as far up as the town of 
Esopus. Burgoyne called his officers together once more. 

" Will it be honorable," he asked, " to break off negotiations now ?" 
General Keidesel, General Hamilton, and several other officers, said it 
would not be honorable. Burgoyne thought differently. But the Amer- 
icans knew what had taken place on the Hudson, and a messenger arrived 
from Gates with a note. The American army w^as drawn 
-^ 7^ v^ ^ ^$ - - np in order of battle : and if the surrender was 
^ not cari'ied out in order as agreed upon, the con- 
'1^ ^-^^^"^17" ^ -'^ test w^ould be renevved at once. Buro-oyne 
^ Signed the papers, and his army marched into 
a field by the river, laid their arms upon 
^ the ground, and emptied their car- 


General Burgoyne and his officers, in their rich uniforms, rode along 
the bank of the river toward the American camp. General Gates came 
out to meet him, with the officers of his staff. Colonel Wilkinson intro- 
duced them. 

" The fortune of war has made me your prisoner," said Burgoyne, rais- 
ing his hat. 

" I shall always be ready to bear testimony that it has not been through 
any fault of your excellency," Gates replied ; and then the whole party 
rode to Gates's quarters, and had a good dinner. In the afternoon, the 
American army was drawn up in two lines on the interval near the river 

244 THE BOYS OF 76. 

— one brigade behind another — reaching rr^ore than a mile, and several 
ranks deep. 

Nicholas heard the fifes and drums playing " Yankee Doodle ;" then 
he saw two officers on horseback — one carrying the Stars and Stripes ; 
then came a company of American cavalry ; and then the captive army, 
the British fight-infantry in front. No guns in their hands now. It was 
a sorrowful procession. They had come to conquer, but were conquered. 
Five thousand seven hundred and ninety -one marched past. They had 
left behind forty-two cannon, and nearly five thousand muskets. Nicholas 
stood near General Gates's tent. He saw General Gates and General Bur- 
goyne standing there — Burgoyne, large and stout, wearing his rich uniform 
covered with gold lace. Gates was small, and had on a blue frock. He 
saw General Burgoyne hand his sword to Gates, who took it, held it a 
moment, and then returned it. 

So the grand army which was to divide New England from the other 
colonies — which, in the flush of success at Ticonderoga, Burgoyne thought 
could march to Boston — was on its way there to the tune of "Yankee 
Doodle," but not as victor. 

Nicholas beheld it with joy; and then the thought came — '^'Oh that 
Dodifer were here to see it !" — he who had fought so nobly and given his 
life to his countr}^ But the brave boy was at rest forever, on the hills of 
Saratoga — his battles ended, his victory won ! 




^r^HE shores of the Delaware River below the junction of the Schuyl- 
-^ kill are low and marshy. The wild ducks build their nests in the 
reeds along the shores and upon the islands. There are Hog Island, Mud 
Island, and Billings Island. 

The Americans had a fleet of vessels in the river; but, in addition, to 
keep the British fleet from getting up to the city, they placed a line of ob- 
structions from the Pennsylvania to the Xew Jersey shore. On Mud Isl- 
and they erected a fort, named Fort Mifflin ; and on the Xew Jersey shore 
was another fortification, at Red Bank, named after General Mercer, who 
was killed at Princeton. On the Xew Jersey shore, opposite the chevaux- 
de-frise which had been placed in the rivei^, the Americans began to throw 
up another fort. 

General Washington hoped that General Howe, although in possession 
of Philadelphia, would not be able to take these forts. If they could be 
maintained. General Howe would find it a difficult thing to stay in Phila- 
delphia — so far away from his ships and supplies. 

The fleet, under Admiral Howe, sailed down the Chesapeake, came up 
the Delaware, and was ready to co-operate with the army. 

General Howe sent Colonel Stirling, with two regiments, to capture the 
unfinished fortification (K in the plan). They marched down from Ches- 
ter, and crossed the river in boats below Billings Island. There were only 
a few Americans in the unfinished w^ork. When they saw the British ad- 
vancing they spiked. their guns, set fire to their barracks, and fled up the 
river to the fort at Red Bank. Colonel Stirling completed the destruction 
of the works, helped the fleet open a passage through the chevaux-de-frise^ 
and returned. 

Six small vessels sailed through the opening in the chevaux- de-frise. 
The fleet could have sailed up to Philadelphia if it had not been for the 
fort at Red Bank, which would be able to riddle any vessel that might at- 
tempt to pass it. That must be taken. General Howe sent Count Donop, 

a brave young Hessian officer, with two thou- 
sand live liundred picked Hessians, to capt- 
ure it. The Hessians crossed the Delaware 
at Pliiladelphia, and marched down the JS'ew Jersey side to Haddonfield 
on the evening of October 21st. 

The next morning Count Donop started for Fort Mercer. With his 
brave soldiers he would have no difficulty in capturing it, which, thawgh 
it had an embankment on the river-side, was very weak landward. Col- 
onel Christopher Greene, of Khode Island, who had marched through the 
wilderness of Maine to Canada with Arnold, held the fort with four hun- 
dred Rhode Island troops. Early in the morning of the 22d, Count Donop 
came to Timber Creek, a little stream that empties into the Delaware above 
Fort Mercer, but found that the Americans had taken np the bridge, and 
that he must march four miles np the brook before he could ford it. It 
was a long and tiresome march — eight miles out of the way — and it gave 
Colonel Greene time to make all pi-eparations possible. He had fourteen 
cannon mounted in the fort, but most, of 
them had been placed in position to fire 
at the ships, and he had to change some 
of them to the landward side. His men 
worked witli a will, and were ready for 
the Hessians. 

It was afternoon when Donop reached 
Red Bank. He formed his men in line 
of battle in a piece of woods, but, be- 
fore beorinnino: the attack, sent an officer 
and a drummer with a white flag toward 
the fort. Colonel Greene sent out an officer to see what was war 

" The King of England orders his rebellions subjects to lay 





arms. They are warned that if they stand battle, no quarter will be given." 
The officer came into the fort with the message. 

" Say to him that we ask no quarter, nor will we give any. We shall 
defend the fort or make it our tomb," was Colonel Greene's quiet but de- 
termined reply. 

• The Hessian officer returned to Count Donop. The British fleet in 
the river came np stream, and began a furious cannonade. But the shot 
buried themselves in the mud or flew harmlessly over the works. 

Count Donop brought up his cannon, formed his men, and moved to 
the attack. It was nearly night, and he expected to be in possession of 
the fort before dark. He sent half of his men to attack on the north 
side, while he, with the rest, approached from the south. The fort con- 
sisted of two parts, the main fort and the outworks. The latter were 
unfinished ; they were weak, and could 
not be defended. The main fort was 
stronger, and Colonel Greene wisely de- 
termined not to attempt to hold the out- 

South of the fort a short distance 
was a brick house with " I. A. W. 1748 " 
on one of the gables, the initials stand- 
ing for James and Anna Whitall. The 
house had been built twenty-nine years. 
Mr. Whitall lived there with his wife 
and family. He was a -Quaker, and a 

good Whig. Seeing that the battle was about to begin, he and 
left the house; but his mother, an old lady, would not leave. 

" God will take care of me," she said. 

The Hessians, attacking on the north, after keeping up a lively can- 
nonade for half an hour, advanced. At the same time, the British ships 
began to bombard the fort more furiously. From the north and the south 
the shot were falling into the fort. 

The Hessians charged upon the outer works, but were surprised to find 
no one there. They set up a sliout, as if they had already won the victory. 
There was no ditch between the main fort and the earth-works, and thev 
• imagined it would be an easy matter to rush up the bank and plant their 
flag upon it. They could not see any Americans. What had become of 
the men who had just said that they neither asked for nor gave quarter? 
]^ot one was in sight. Were they hiding, panic-stricken by the bombard- 
ment \ With a shout, they rushed forward. Suddenly the fort was all 







ablaze. From embrasure 
and rampart there burst 
out a flame and a storm of 
iron hail and leaden rain 
that swept them down in 
an instant. Thev could not 
. stand before it. All who 
could get away fled in con- 
sternation from the spot. 
While this is going on, Connt Donop is advancing from Mr. Whitall's 
house. The cannon of the fleet are sending a storm of solid shot and 
bombs into the fort. Suddenly the cannonade ceases, for the Hessians are 
about to leap over the ramparts. They rush bravely np ; but now that side 
of the fort is all aflame. Count Donop falls, and his next in command, 
Colonel Mingerode. The Hessians are brave : they climb on their hands 
and knees up the embankment, fire into the faces of the Americans, who, 
in turn, the next instant blow out the brains of their assailants. The 
Khode Island men have piles of grenades — hand -bombs — which they 
set on fire and toss over the embankment, whicli explode among the Hes- 
sians, who have lost their brave leader. He is lying, mortally wounded, 
at the bottom of the ditch. There is no one to inspirit them. They lose 
courage. The fire is growing hotter. More murderous the storm. A 
moment, and they are fleeing past Whitall's house, disorganized, panic- 
stricken — running in terror to Haddonfield. 

It was five o'clock when the attack began, and it is not yet six, but 
the battle is over. The last rays of the setting sun fall upon ^he Stars, 
and Stripes, still proudly floating above the ramparts ; while below, heaped 
one upon anotlier, are four hundred Hessians, killed or wounded. Inside 
the fort are eight dead and twenty-nine wounded, and nearly half of these 
casualties occurred through the bursting of a cannon. The Hessians were 
so panic-stricken that they left their leader lying at the foot of the em- 

In the evening twilight. Colonel Manduit, the French engineer, who 
had laid out the works, and who assisted in defending them, was out amidst 
the wounded. He heard a voice among the slain, 
" Please take me out." 



It was Count Doiiop. The kiiid-liearted Frenchman hastened to lielp 
him, conveyed him to Mr. Whitall's house, and kindly cared for him; 
but his wound was mortal "I die a victim to ambition and the ava- 


rice of my sovereign," he said ; and he might have added that he was 
slain through the incapacity of Lord North and the stubbornness of the 

It was a terrible defeat to General Howe. Four hundred men lost, 



and nothing gained, and the fleet as far from Philadelphia as ever. The 
country rang with the praises of Colonel Greene and the brave men who 
had inflicted so signal a defeat npon the enemy. 

Colonel Greene was greatly assisted by Commodore Hazlewood, with 
a "fleet of small vessels in the river. He had more than twenty of all 
kinds — galle3^s, floating batteries, one brig, besides fourteen old vessels fit- 
ted up as tire-ships, with tar-barrels on boai'd, which he could set on tire, 
and which would float down with the tide against the British fleet. Com- 
modore Hazlewood had about one hundred cannon, and he kept up a hot 
fire upon the British fleet. 

Two days later, in the morning, the British ships made an attack on 
Fort Mifilin. The Augusta^ with sixty-four guns ; the Roebuck^ with for- 
ty-four; two frigates; \X\q Merlin ^y^\\h eighteen guns; and a galley, came 
up the river and opened a furious cannonade. Lieutenant-colonel Smith, 
of Lan(;aster, Pennsylvania, v.-as in the fort, commanding the garrison. 
His men, from Colonel Lamb's artillery regiment, worked' the guns vigor- 
ously. Commodore Hazlewood dropped down with his fleet, and the fort 
and fleet together made it hot for the British. 

Colonel Smith sent a red-hot shot at the sixty - four - gun ship, the 
Augusta^ which struck the hull, and in a very short time the ship was in 
flames. She was on a mud-bank, and could not get away. The fire worked 
its way into the seams of the ship. The sailors tried in vain to put it out. 

_ They fled to their boats, and about noon 
I the ship blew up with a tremendous ex- 
plosion. The British did not like to give 
up the contest, and the fight went on 
from one till two, fi'om two till three in 
the afternoon. The Merlin was lying 
near the mouth of Mud Creek. The 
ofunner sent a red-hot shot which struck 
iito the side of that ship, and set it on 
fire, and there was another explosion. 
The JRoehuch^ whose commander fear- 
ed that she might be served in the same way, 
and the other ships, dropped down the river. 
So in an afternoon tlie king had lost two fine 
ships. ^ 

General Howe was chagrined. There he was in Philadelphia with a 
great army, and yet two garrisons of less than twelve hundred men, with 
the fieet of Commodore Hazlewood, had prevented the ships from coming 




up to tlie city. He must take Fort Mifflin on Mud Island, and Fori Mer- 
cer at Red Bank, or lie would be compelled to abandon Philadelphia. He 
adopted a new plan. He saw that Fort Mifflin, on the side toward Car- 
penter s Island, was very weak. There were no cannon mounted to sweep 
that island, and he sent an expedition in the night to take possession of 
it. The troops met with no opposition, and in a few days he had ' 
batteries erected, with some of the heaviest cannon of the fleet mounted. 
He brought up a floating-battery mounting twenty-two guns, and anchor- 
ed it south-west of the fort near Hog Island, within fifteen hundred feet 
of the fort. Two sixty-four-gun ships and two forty -gun ships came up to 
take part in the bombardment. All told, the British had between two hun- 
dred and fifty and three hundred cannon, besides mortars,- to rain a storm 
of shot and shell upon the little fort. 

Every thing is ready on the part of the British. The ships advance, 
and the batteries on the shore open fire. All through the day the cannon- 
ade goes 'on, ships and batteries firing rapidly, the cannon of the fort reply- 
ing slowly. Lieutenant Treat, commanding the artillery, is killed by the 
bursting of a bomb. The barracks are knocked to pieces. Till late into 
the night the fire is kept up. 

At day-break the next morning the ships and batteries open once more. 
The shot fall thick and fast without the inclosure. Colonel Smith sits 
down in the barracks to write a letter to General Yarnum, who is on the 
New Jersey shore : a shot passes through the chimney, scattering the bricks 
in every direction, and knocking him senseless. Lieutenant-colonel Bussell, 
of Connecticut, takes command ; and Colonel Smith, with other wounded, 
is taken in a boat across the river to Red Bank. Faster rain the bombs, 
more vigorously than ever the British sailors work the guns. From day- 
break till micfnight, the cannonade goes on. The palisades around the 
fort are knocked to pieces. A cannon-shot comes through an embrasure 
and dismounts a gun, killing the gunner. Lieutenant -colonel Russell is 
worn out, and Major Thayer, of Rhode Island, assumes command. There 
is very little rest for the three hundred men under Major Thayer. The 
firing goes on till mid nighty and the British only stop from weariness. 

On the 12th, the shijjs, at day-break, open fire once more. The top of 
the fort is plowed through and through by solid shot. The bombs, which 
bury themselves in the embankment, blow out cart-loads of earth. Two 
more guns are disabled, the laboratory blows up, and the block-house at 
the north-west corner of the fort is knocked to pieces. 

The hard blows are not all on one side. Major Thayer sends his shot 
with unerring aim into the fleet, splintering masts and spars. They crash 

252 THE BOYS OF '76. 

through the sides of the vessels and make fearful liavoc among the 

The morning dawns once more, and the Americans discover the float- 
ing-battery close to the fort. During the night, with the incoming tide, 
the British have come to fight at close quarters. The thirty-two-pounders 
open. They are so near that the shot pass through the embankment. 
But the shot from the fort tell with greater effect upon the battery. Its 
thick timbered sides are smashed in, and before noon there is very little 
left of it — every gun is silenced. 

The hard-worked men in the fort are w^orn out. Soldiers drop asleep 
beside the guns while the bombs are bursting around them. Unless re- 
lieved, they can not hold out much longer. They have boats in which, if 
need be, they can retreat in the night up the river to the fleet, or across to 
Red Bank. They will not give in, however, just yet. 

The British are nearly in despair, and are thinking of abandoning the 
siege. There is a traitor in the garrison. A soldier who, perhaps, has had 
enough fighting, steals out from the fort, jumps into a boat, makes his 
w^ay to the fleet, and informs the British that Major Thayer is just ready 
to abandon the fort. It revives the drooping spirits of the British. Orders 
are sent to tlie ships to come to close quarters in the morning. The ad- 
miral will knock the fort level with the ground, or sink his ships in the 

The sun rises, and the hard-worked soldiers in the fort see that prepa- 
rations are making for a terrific assault. They behold the Somerset, the 
sixty-four-gun ship which, at day-break on the 17th- of June, 1775, began 
a cannonade upon Bunker Hill, and the Iris, carrying sixty -four guns, 
coming up close to the fort to attack in front. 

The Vigilant, with twenty twenty -four -pounders, and an old vessel 
with three guns, work their way up west of the fort, and take position 
where tliey can not be harmed by any of its guns. The ships do not get 
into position till ten o'clock. Then, at a signal, the fire begins. From all 
sides, except the north, the storm is poured upon the fort. The ships are 
so near that the men in the rigging can pick off the gunners the moment 
they attempt to load a gun. The cannon, one after another, are dismount- 
ed, the carriages knocked to pieces. By noon all the cannon, except two, 
are disabled. There is not a safe place in the fort. Many are killed, and 
more w^ounded ; but Major Thayer will not raise the white flag. All 
day long the storm i*ages. The block-houses are knocked to pieces, the 
palisades all leveled, the embrasures torn away, and yet the brave little 
band will not surrender. 


. N'ight shuts down upon the scene ; but there is no diminution of the 
storm. The deep roar of the cannonade goes on. In the darkness Major 
Thayer places his wounded in the boats. Among them is Captain Talbot, 
with a wound in the hip, another in his wrist ; but, though wounded, he 
has kept on cheering the. men. The boats push off in the darkness, and 
make their way to Ked Bank. Major Thayer and forty men remain till 
midnight. It is useless to remain longer. He will leave the spot; but he 
will leave in triumph. A train is laid, the match applied, and while it is . 
burning the heroic defenders glide away in the boats, and while the row- 
ers are pulling at the oars, the flames break out, licking up every thing 
that can burn about the fort. Nearly two hundred and fifty have been 
killed and wounded in the defense, and more than that number have fallen 
on board the ships. 

There still remained Fort Mercer. Colonel Greene and his brave men 
were still there. General Howe sent Cornwallis, w^ith two thousand men, 
to attack it in conjunction with the fleet. Cornwallis crossed the river 
from the west side below the fort, and came to the little village of Wood- 
bury. General Washington sent General Greene across the Delaware 
above Philadelphia, at Burlington, with Lafayette; but Greene had a 
small force, and could not think it prudent to risk a battle, and on the 
20th of Kovember, seeing that he was about to be attacked, and that there 
was little hope of holding the fort, now that Fort Mifllin had fallen, he 
evacuated it, and so saved the garrison. A few of the small vessels of 
Commodore Hazlewood's fleet crept up past Philadelphia in the dark- 
ness, while all the others were set on fire to prevent their falling into the 
hands of the British, 

It was a gloomy day, that 21st of November, to the little army under 
Washington. Philadelphia was in the possession of the British, the river 
was open, the forts and fleet destroyed. General Howe had a great army, 
and Washington was powerless to r.esist him. 





GEXERAL HOWE was quite well satisfied with w^hat he had done. 
He had defeated Washington at Brandy wine, repulsed him at Ger- 
niantown, taken the forts on the Delaware, and was in possession of Phil- 
adelphia. Re-enforcements were on their way from England, his army 
was in good condition, while Washington's was growing weaker. Many 
of the citizens of Pliiladelphia had welcomed him with open arms as their 
deliverer, while the farmers of the surrounding: country hailed him with 
favor, for he had British gold, which he was ready to pay for their garden- 
sauce, butter, cheese, eggs, cattle, and horses. 


^^\<h b^t 


No 45'r4/ 

Six ^3^0^"^.^ 

_ BeareT- to Toce've 
/=^:^-v\\ SIX SPAXISH MaLED 
^^M%.0\ DOLLARS . OT th?. 

-, - 1,^' or 5 ILVER. rtCfordiTij- to 

-- a Re^ctution or CON- 

-5.=,^^_^ GRESSs put! ist/if Ph - 

liidf.Ua ^oM-Z']y/6- 



The money issued by Conggfls, made of paper, was poor stuff. It was 
inly a promise to pay, and the promise was not worth much. The money 




was SO poor that one hundred dollars would hardly buy a pair of boots. 
A good coat would cost live hundred dollars. Poor as the money was, 
Congress had not paid the soldiers in 
the army ; and General Howe was con- 
fident, now that he was in possession of 
the two largest cities in America, that 
the rebellion would soon die out. 

General Howe moved the army 
from Germantown down to the out- 
skirts of Philadelphia, where the sup- 
plies could be delivered directly from 
the ships. He established his head-quar- 
ters on High Street, one door from the 
corner of Sixth Street. He was kind to the poor people in the city, al- 
lowing them to go out past the pickets to get flour at the old mill in 

General Washington was still at Whitemarsh, where he had encamped 
after the battle of Germantown. His army was growing weaker day by 
day. What to do he did not know. He could not attack Howe in Phila- 
delphia. Where should he go, or what do ? He had little to eat. His 
soldiers had no blankets. Some were almost naked. Many had no shoes. 
Winter was close at hand, and the time of many of the soldiers was expir- 
ing. Yet still he waited, hoping that Howe would make some movement. 
General Howe resolved to make a movement. He saw that Washing- 
ton was growing weaker ; he would strike one more blow, and finish the 
war. He would make a night march, fall upon Washington like a thun- 
der-bolt, and scatter the Amer- 
icans to the winds, or perhaps 
capture the entire army. ]N"one 
but his most trustworthy offi- 
cers should know of the move- 

General Howe's adjutant- 
general was quartered at Mr. 
Darrah's house, on South Sec- 
ond Street. It was a long 
brick building, with a balcony 
over the lower story. Mr. 
Darrah was a Quaker, but he was a Whig, and had a noble wife — Lydia. 
"Lydia," said the British adjutant -general, one day, " I expect some 




friends here to-night, and I want the upper back-room made i-eadj. Arid, 
one thing more, Lydia, be sure to have all the folks in the house early to 

" It shall be as thee dost desire," said Lydia. 

In the evenhig. General Howe and several of his officers came to tlie 
house. The servants were all in bed. Lydia admitted the gentlemen. 

"You can go to bed now, Lydia, and lie till I call," said the adjutant- 

Lydia went to her room, lay down without undressing, but not to 
sleep. What were the officers there for? Why so much secrecy? An 
irresistible impulse seizes her to know what is going on. In her stockings, 
she glides noiselessly to the door of the chamber, bends her ear to the key- 
hole, and hears the adjutant -general read an order, which General Howe 
has written : 

" To-morrow night the army will make a secret march to surprise and 

capture the American 

Back to her room 
she glides. An hour 
passes. The officers are 
ready to leave, and the 
adjutant-general knocks 
on her door. She is 
not asleep, but all her 
senses are awake as 


never before. She 
makes no answer. An- 
other rap — still no an- 
swer. A thumping now 
— she is sleeping sound- 
ly, the adjutant -gener- 
al thinks. She awakes. 
She will be out in a 
moment. She arises, 
waits a little while, then 

appears in the hall, to open the street-door for General Howe and his offi.- 
cers. She goes back to bed ; but all night long she is thinking, and pray- 
ino^ that God will aid her in what she is about to do. 

Lydia wanted some flour. She rode on horseback in the morning to 
General Howe's head-quarters, and obtained a pass to go to the old mill in 
Frankford. It was five miles to the mi^l ; but while the grist was grinding, 
she had time to ride beyond it toward Whitemarsh. She rode till stop- 
ped by an American sentinel. Major Craig was in command of the pick- 
ets. Lydia called him aside, whispered a few words in his ear, and rode 
back, took her grist, and returned to Philadelphia. 

Night comes. The British army is astir, marching secretly, but rapidly 
northward. Just before day-break, the American pickets, who have been 
charged to be on the watch, discover the British approaching. Word 
runs down the line, but General Washington is ready. The ariuy is under 
arms, and in hue of battle. 


General Howe forms his line, but is surprised to find Washington pre- 
pared for him, witli his army so advantageously posted that he does not 
dare to attack. He must change his plan. He marches, counter-marches ; 
there is some sfeirmishing ; but Howe does not think it prudent to bring 
on a battle. Back to the city march the British. The adjutant-general 
rides to his quarters. 

" Lydia, I would like to see you in my room," he says to the true-heart- 
ed woman. " Lydia, were any of your family up on the night that I re- 
ceived some company?"'''^ 

"]S"ay, they were all in bed at eight o'clock." 

" Strange, very strange. You, I know, were asleep, Lydia ; for I knock- 
ed three times at your door before I could wake you : yet it is certain we 
were betrayed. I am at a loss to think who could have given information 
to Washington of our intended movement. We found him drawn up in 
line of battle, and, like a pack of fools, we had to march back again." 

Foiled in his effort to surprise Washington, General Howe settled down 
in Philadelphia for the winter, while Washington, with his army dwindling 
every day, looked around to find winter-quarters. Pitiable the condition 
of the troops— shoeless, and almost naked. 

" I will give ten dollars to the man who will get up the best shoe out 
of a raw hide," was the offer of Washington. He could not get shoes, and 
the soldiers took the hides of the cattle killed for beef and made mocca- 
sins of them. 

Valley Forge was the place selected for winter-quarters, and thither the 
array marched. What an uneasy march it was through the snow by the 
barefooted, ragged men! All the way there were blood-stains. Tliey had 
to ford the river on that wintry day ; and when they reached the place se- 
lected for the encampment, they had to sleep on the frozen ground till 
they could build huts. They had few axes, but in a very short time each 
brigade had its cluster of houses. Each brigade was a village by itself, 
laid out in streets, each house sheltering sixteen men. Tliey built fire- 
places and bunks and ovens. Besides their houses, they had to build in- 
trenchments and forts, guarding against a surprise from the British. 

The camp was on the west bank of the Schuylkill. It was a strong po- 
sition — so strong that General Howe did not care to make an attack upon 
it. General Knox had his cannon planted to sweep all the approaches. 
The snow was deep. Yery little provision could be had, and less clothing. 
Congress had no supplies, the soldiers no money; Congress failed to pay 
them ; starvation stared them in the face. Oh, the dreary days of that 
terrible winter ! 




"For some days past there lias been little less than a famine in the 
camp," wrote Washington on the 16th of February. " Some of the men 
have not had any meat for a week." 


Sickness broke out, and tlie men began to die. They conld get no 
hay for the artillery horses. The people in the vicinity were Tories, who 
carried every thing they had to sell to Philadelphia, where they could ob- 
tain gold. There were men in Congress, and officers in the country, who 
were doino; what thev could to deo^rade Washins^ton from the command. 
Gloomy the days ! But amidst the gloom the great man commanding the 

army never faltered, nor did Gen- 
eral Greene, nor Sullivan, nor 
Wayne ; not one among the offi- 
cers, nor among the soldiers. 
They were starving, but they 
would be free. 

A brave man came into the 
camp, an officer from Prussia, 
Baron Steuben. He had come 
across the ocean to aid the Amer- 
icans, and Congress made him 
inspector - general. The troops 
were undisciplined, and so were 
the officers. They knew nothing 
of military drill, but under the 
instruction of this noble man 
they quickly learned how to 
BARON STEUBEN. ^handlc thclr guns, how to wheel, 



and march, and change front. He was sharp and strict, but was as kind- 
hearted as a child, and the soldiers loved him. Starving, almost naked, 
yet learning how to fight. So the winter passed awav. General Howe 
never once molesting them. 

The people of England were dissatisfied with the way things were 
going on in America. General Howe was commander-in-chief, and his 
brother. Admiral Richard Howe, was in command of the fieet. The win- 
ter had passed, and General Howe had been spending his time in Phila- 
delphia, with a great army quartered there. He had made no effort to mo- 
lest Washington, with his handful of starving and almost naked troops, at 
Yalley Forge, only twenty miles away. In the autumn he had turned 
away ivom. helping Burgoyne — had won a victory at Brandywine, but had 
been all but defeated at Germantown. He had declined a battle at Go- 
shen, had marched out to Whitemarsh to surprise Washington, but had 
returned, not daring to make an attack. He had spent the winter in dis- 
sipation at Philadelphia, the army doing nothing. 

There was so much dissatisfaction with General Howe in England 
that he resigned, and Sir Henry Clinton was appointed commander-in- 
chief. General Howe was to sail on the 19th of May, and his officers got 
up a grand entertainment in his honor. 

Weeks were spent in making preparations. It was held on the 18th 
of May. First there was a procession of boats on the river. All of the 
boats belonging to the fieet were gayly decorated with flags, and filled witli 
the officers of the navy and army and ladies. Bands 
of music played, and salutes were fired as the pro- 
cession moved down the river from Mr. Knio^ht's 
wharf to Mr. Wharton's house, where upon the lawn 
in front of it triumpiial arches and spacious pavilions 
had been erected. 

The officers landed, the grenadiers and light- 
infantry were drawn up to receive them, and they 
marched beneath the triumphal arches to the lawn, 
w^here a tournament was to be held. Two small pa- / 
vilions had been erected for the tournament. On 
the front seats of each were seven young ladies, 
dressed in Turkish costume, wearing turbans, and 
exhibiting the favors which they intended to bestow 
upon the gallant knights who were to enter the lists 
in their behalf. ^ 

IS"ow was heard the blowingHf trumpets, and a company of kniglits 


260 " THE BOYS OF 76. 

dressed in the costume of the days of chivahy, in white and red, mounted 
on horses gayly caparisoned, accompanied by their squires, came down the 
avenue. In advance of them came a herald, with two roses on the lapel 
of his tunic, with the motto, " We droop when separatedr 

Then came Lord Cathcart upon a powerful horse. He was chief of the 
knights. Two negro slaves /^^_ ^^ ^^ motto, Surmounted 

w^earing white breeches and E1i||^M % Love. The "Knights of 
blue sashes, with large silver te^\^^3 the Blended Rose," and the 
clasps around their necks, ^^^^X "Knis^hts of the Burning 
held his stirrups. On his ffl^^^^ Mountain," with their es- 
right hand walked his two wP^^^s^ quires, all in gorgeous cos- 
esquires, one beai'ing his il' ^%^^S tume, made their appeai'- 
lance and the other his v^ l\S^ \ ance, riding in front of the pa- 
shield, with a device of Cu- captain villous, wheeling, curveting, 
pid riding a lion, and upon cathcart. throwing down their gloves, 
]'iding at each other full tilt, firing their pistols, flourishing their swords, 
and doing a great deal of foolery. 

When the tournament was over, they dismounted, and escorted the 
ladies into the great pavilions, and had lunch, tea, and liquors ; and the 
knights kneeled before the ladies, and received their favors. From the 
l^avilions they went into the great dancing-hall, which had been erected, 
and gayly painted and decorated, for the occasion. 

The officers had been through the city, and called upon the citizens to 
lend their mirrors to add to the display, and had obtained eighty-five, 
which were placed around the room in a way to reflect and re-reflect its 
bewildering scenery. Leading from the hall were side rooms w^here tlie 
dancers could obtain refreshments. The bands came in and took their 
places, and the dancing began, and w^as kept up till ten o'clock, when there 
M'as a magniflcent display of fire-works in front of the house, and all Phil- 
adelphia was there to witness it. At midnight supper was announced. 

Suddenly one side of the ball-room opened, and the amazed dancers 
perceived that what they had supposed to be a blank wall was a series of 
folding-doors, which had been concealed. They saw before them a mag- 
nificent saloon, two hundred and ten feet long, forty wide, and twenty-two 
high, with alcoves for sideboards. The ceiling was carved, and painted a 
light stone-color, with vine-leaves and festoons of fiowers. Fifty-six pier- 
glasses reflected the ^scene, all superbly decorated with flowers. There 
were eighteen chandeliers, with twenty-four lights each, susj^ended from 
the ceiling, and one hundred branches,dOr side lights, with three candles 
in each. There were four hundred aiM thirty plates laid. Twenty-four 


black slaves, in Oriental costume, with silver collars on their necks, bent 
low, almost touching their heads to the Hoor, as General Howe and the 
other officers entered. Toward the end of supper the herald of the Blend- 
ed Rose, with his trumpeters, came into the hall and proclaimed the toasts 
— the king's health, the queen's, the royal family, the army, the navy, the 
knights, and the ladies — the bands playing, and the company draining their 
wine-glasses at each toast. 

After supper, those who cared to dance went back to the ball-room, 
while those who preferred to play cards retired to the pavilions, and played 
till morning, betting high, and some of them getting so drunk that their 
servants had to carry them to bed. The next day General Howe sailed 
for England, leaving Sir Henry Clinton in command. 

262 THE BOYS OF 76. 





USTG'S FERRY was the place where troops and provisions were taken 
across the Hudson, a line of communication of great value to Gen- 
eral Washington. General Clinton thought that he could strike a dam- 
aging blow by securing it. The ferry was from Yerplanck's Point, a rocky 
headland on the east side, to Stony Point on the west side. At Yerplanck's 
stood Fort Lafayette, guarded by seventy men. Stony Point, another small 
fortification, was guarded by twenty men. 

On the night of May 31st, 1779, Sir Hem-y Clinton sailed up the 
Hudson with several ships of war and a lai-ge force. He sent General 
Yaughan with troops to the east shore. Both started at midnight, Clinton 
to take Stony Point, Yaughan to take Fort Lafayette. The twenty men 
at Stony Point discovered Clinton's approach, and fled. Sir Henry took 
possession of the fort, turned its guns upon Lafayette, and the seventy men 
had to surrender, for General Yaughan had cut off their retreat. 


Having captured the forts, Clinton set his soldiers to work to make 
Stony Point a formidable fortress, whicli was not a difficult matter, for the 



Point was a rocky hill projecting into the river, with a marsh behind, over 
which the tide flowed, and which was crossed by a causeway and bridge. 
Two lines of abatis were built between the fort and the marsh, which was 
nearly half a mile from the fort, while the fort itself was a strong work, 
large enough to require a garrison of seven hundred men, with cannon 
mounted to defend it on all sides. 

All communication between New England and the other colonies now 
was at West Point or above, which was a great inconvenience to Washing- 
ton, who wished, if possible, to gain possession of King's Ferry once more. 
But he had no troops to spare to make a regular attack. If captured at 
all, it must be by a surprise. There was one general in the army who was 
well fitted to attempt the capture of Ston}^ Point by such a movement — 
the general who, when a school-boy, was always building forts, and mar- 
shaling his playmates : neglecting his studies until his good old uncle, w^ho 
was educating him, gave up in despair of his ever being a scholar. This 
was Genei'al Wayne — "Mad Anthony," the soldiers called him, because 
he was terribly in earnest about what he undertook. 

General Washington met General Wayne at Sandy Beach, fourteen 
miles from Stony Point, to talk 
over the matter. Wayne was 
ready to undertake such an enter- 

"I'll storm hell, general, if you 
will only plan it," said Wayne. 

"Hadn't we better try Stony 
Point first ?" Washington replied. 

Tliis was the plan : To make 
a night march ; the men, with their 
muskets unloaded, to cross the 
marsh at low tide ; a party in ad- 
vance with axes to clear away the 
abatis; the soldiers to wear white 
cockades, to distinguish each other 
in the darkness, and rush, with fix- 
ed bayonets, into the fort. 

General Wayne and Colonel 
Febiger reconnoitred the fort. A deserter informed General Wayne in 
]'egard to its construction, and how the cannon were placed. General 
Wayne selected his troops, and thought out his plan of attack, but kept his 
plan to himself, and sent out small parties to guard all the roads, and pre- 


264: THE BOYS OF 76. 

vent any one from giving information to the British of any movement he 
might make. 

The fort was a series of redouhts on the summit of Stony Point and 
an ahatis, which extended across the Point a little distance from the marsh. 
There was a second abatis, extending nearly across the Point, strengthened 
by three redoubts, in wliich there were brass twelve-pounders. 

At twelve o'clock on the 15tli of July, a hot summer day. General 
Wayne starts with his troops, three regiments of Continental light-infant- 
ry — one under Colonel Butler, one under Colonel Febiger, and one under 
Colonel Meigs — also a battalion of Massachusetts troops, under Major Hull, 
and two companies of Xorth Carolina troops, urider Major Murfey ; also 
some artillery-men, to work the cannon in the fort, if he succeeds in taking- 
it. He moves along narrow roads — so narrow and rocky and uneven that 
the men march some of the way in sino-le file. The sun 2:oes down, and 
tlie twilight comes on. At eight o'clock, the head of the column is at 
Mr. Springsteel's, a mile and a half from the fort. No man is allowed to 
speak. In silence the men marcli, in silence they come into line, throw 
themselves upon the ground, and eat their supper of bread and cold meat. 

General Wayne forms his men into two columns. The right column 
contains Febiger's and Meigs's regiment and Major Hull's battalion. Col- 
onel Butler's and Major Murfey 's troops compose the other. General 
Wayne will command the right, and Colonel Butler the left. He places 
one hundred and fifty men in advance of his column, under Lieutenant- 
colonel Fleury ; and in advance of them twenty pioneers, nnder Lieutenant 
Knox; and in front of the othei-, one hundred men, under Major Stewart; 
and twenty pioneers, nnder Lieutenant Gibbon. The men do not know 
what they are to do. Up to this time, Wayne has kept the plan to himself 
and his chief officers. He orders each soldier to pin a piece of white pa- 
per to his hat. They will be able by that to distinguish friend from foe. 

"We are going to attack the fort," he said; "and the first man inside 
of it shall have five hundred dollars, and immediate promotion ; the sec- 
ond, four hundred ; the third, three hundred ; the fourth, two hundred ; 
the fifth, one hundred. If any of you are so lost to the sense- of honor as 
to attempt to retreat or skulk, any ofiScer is authorized to put you to death. 
I shall share the dangers with you. This is the watch-word, ^ The fort is 
our own^ " 

Till half-past eleven the men rest ; and the brave general, having ma- 
tured all his plans, writes a letter to a friend in Philadelphia, asking him 
to take care of his young children if he falls in the assault. This done, the 
columns, in silence, move toward the fort. Tliev come to the marsh. Gen- 



eral Wayne moves to the right, and Butler to the left. The tide has not 
wholly ebbed, and the water is two feet deep on the niarsli. 

A picket stands at the top of the liill south of the bridge. Two men 
approach him stealthily, and before he can give an alarm lie is a prisoner. 
The columns divide — Wayne going down the hill toward the marsh near 
the river, and Butler toward the bridge. The men enter the water. A 
picket on the side toward the fort hears them, fires his gun, and gives the 
alarm. The sentinels in the fort hear it, and the drums beat ; the British 
officers and soldiers leap from their barracks and seize their arms. 

A moment later, and the cannon are flashing. On through the water, 
across the miry marsh, to the hill, the troops move with unloaded muskets. 
The bayonet alone is to win the victory. Up to the abatis rush the pio- 
neers with their axes. Some fall, never more to rise ; but the others work 
on, cutting away the timbers. 

They make an opening, and the column, like water pouring through a 
mill-race, rushes through. A moment, and they are at the second abatis. 
A few minutes of hard work there, with the bullets falling like hail around 
them, and the men are streaming through the second opening, and forming 
to rush upon the batteries. A shot strikes the brave leader — a musket-ball, 
tearing his scalp and glancing from the skull. He falls, with the warm 
blood streaming over his face. " Forward ! forward ! Carry me into the 
fort; let me die there !" he shouts. On, over rocks and fallen trees, led by 
Fleury. and Febiger, rush the men, to avenge the fall of their leader. 

'^ The fort is oiir own /" Febiger shouts it. '^ The fort is oxir own p'' 

2^68 THE BOYS ( 

It goes up from five hundred voices. ( le breastworks, plunging 

the bayonet into all who resist, like a t ey sweep, bearing down 

all before them. Cannon blaze in their faces, but there are no answer- 
ing guns. Nothing can resist the f ui-ious assault. Over on the left, at the 
same moment, Butler is sweeping over the breastworks. " The fort is 
our own P^ is the answering cry, ringing out over the liills. 

The British see only an array of dusky forms in the darkness, an arkiy 
of black shadows pouring into the fort^ encircling them on all sides. Tkey 
fire at the shadows, and the next moment the shadows are trampling them 
to the earth, and the bayonet is doing its bloody w^ork. " Mercy ! mercy ! 
Don't kill us ! We surrender ! Mercy ! mercy !" 

Just such a cry went up in the woods of Long Island from American 
lips, but British ears were deaf to the cr}^ It was fun to pin the reb^s 
to the earth with the bayonet, to cut and mangle them while they cried 
for mercy. Shall not the victors have their revenge ? Shall they not have 
the satisfaction of driving home the bayonet and avenging their comrades ? 
No. There is no revenge so sweet and satisfying as mercy. It is the 
glory of this hour of triumph that the cry is not made in vain. The mo- 
ment that resistance ceases, the slaughter stops. Let it be remembered 
forever that there, in the darkness at Stony Point, in the hour of triumj^h, 
with the memory of past wrongs rankling in their hearts, the men who are 
fighting for their liberty heed the cry for mercy. No blood shed in re- 
venge stains their victory. 

Fifteen minutes ago the Americans were wading through the water on 
the marsh ; but the fort is their own ; and their brave leader, stunned, not 
killed, is receiving Colonel Johnson's surrender. In these fifteen minutes, 
fifteen Americans have been killed and eiglity wounded; of the British, 
nineteen have been killed, seventy -two wounded, and four hundred and 
sixty-seven captured. 

At two o'clock in the morning. General Wayne writes this letter to 
Washington : 

" Stony Point, IGth July, 1779. 2 o'clock a.m. 

"Dear General, — The fort and garrison, with Colonel Johnson, are 
ours. Our ofiicers and men behaved like men who are determined to be 
free. Yours most sincere^, Ant^ Wayne. 

"General Washington." 

Morning came, and the artillery-men turned the cannon upon the British 
vessels, compelling them to slip their cables and drift down stream. Great 
was the rejoicing over the exploit of "Mad Anthony" and his men. 




THE ship which brought Sir Henr}^ Clinton's commission as command- 
er-in-chief also brought an order for him to evacuate Philadelphia, 
and concentrate his troops at New York. War had been declared between 
England and France, and it would not be an easy matter to supply the 
army at Philadelpliia, so far inland, with all tlie French navy afloat upon 
the sea, and American privateers swarming along the coast, on the w^tch 
for supply-ships. 

Sir Henry Clinton was a more energetic officer than General Howe, 
and he began at once to prepare to evacuate Philadelphia; but he had 
such an amount of baggage, so many ship-loads of supplies, that a month 
passed before he was able to begin his march. The vessels finally were 
loaded. The officers bade farewell to the ladies with whom they had 
danced,. and were ready for their departure. 

General Clinton had abont ten thousand men. He gathered up all 
the horses and wagons he could find, sent out parties to scour the country 
and bring in all they could lay their hands upon, taking them without 
offering any pay in return. He collected all the boats of the fleet, and 
had them moored along the shore below the city. He let it be understood 
that the army was going by water, thinking thus to deceive Washington, 
who was still at Yalley Forge keeping a keen lookout 

On the 17th of June, General Clinton started. The soldiers left their 
barracks, marched down to the river-bank, stepped into the boats, and were 
ferried across to the New Jersey shore — not all, for the Hessians from 
Anspach had been so long in America that they began to like the country ; 
and Sir Henry was afraid that, if he undertook to march them across New 
Jersey, they would desert in a body. It w^as about nine o'clock when the 
army began to cross ; the boats were going from shore to shore all through 
the niglit. By nine o'clock on the morning of the 18th, General Clinton 
was at Haddonfield — five miles from the river. The baggage was there, 
and General Knyphausen's division was appointed to guard it. The Ran- 




gers and Yagers, under General Leslie, were mounted on good horses — the 
best in the army — and started in advance to scour the conntrj^, robbing and 
plundering the inhabitants. General Clinton started for the Earitan Eiver, 
where he would embark the troops. He had so many wagons and horses 
loaded with packs that, with 
his troops, the column was 
twelve miles long. 

If General Clinton sup- 
posed that Washington was 
all in the dark as to his 
movements, he was mis- 
taken, for, on the 30 th of 
May, Washington had made 
all preparations to march 
to tlie Hudson the moment General Clinton started. • His orders were all 
written out ; the baggage was kept in condition to be packed in a moment. 

The £innj consisted of five divisions. The first was commanded by 
General Lee, and consisted of Poor's xs^ew Hampshire brigade, Yarnum's 
Ithode Islanders, and the -Connecticut brigade. The second division was 
commanded by General Mifflin, and consisted of three brigades, mostly 
from Pennsylvania. The third was commanded by General Lafayette, 
and consisted of Xorth Carolina and iSTew York troops. The fourth 
was commanded by Baron De Kalb, and consisted of Glover's, Pater- 
son's, and Learned's brigades of Massachusetts troops. The fifth was com- 
manded by Loi'd Stirling, and consisted of Yirginia and Maryland troops. 
There were sixteen brigades, besides the artillery and the cavalry — in all, 
about ten thousand. 

Besides these, there were the troops under General Maxwell, and the 
'New Jersey militia under General Dickinson — about two thousand more. 
General Washington directed General Maxwell and General Dickinson 
to break down the bridges on all the streams in advance of Clinton; and 
these troops were scattered here and there to do what thej^ could to im- 
pede his march. 

General Washington sent a trusty man — Captain M'Lane — into Phil- 
adelphia to ascertain what was going on. He crossed the river with the 
troops, went through the ranks at Haddonfield, saw the order in which they 
were to march, then made his way back to. the city, and before ten o'clock 
on the morning of the ISth, while Sir Henry was at Haddonfield, (Captain 
M'Lane was riding into Washington's camp at Yalley Forge with the 
news. J^fore night the whole army was in motion; leaving the place 



forever consecrated to liberty by its terrible suffering and patient endur- 


General Greene was quartermaster-general. He had made admirable 
arrangements to snpply the army witli food. General Lee had been ex- 
changed for General Prescott, who had been captured in Khode Island, 
and was once more in command of his division. General Washington 
wanted to attack the British at the first favorable opportunity ; but General 
Lee and a majority of the generals thought it better to hover on Clinton's 
flanks and rear, and cut off his men piecemeal. The army crossed the 
Delaware, the second and fonrth divisions at 
Coryell's Ferry, above Trenton, and the other 
divisions at Sherard's Ferry. < 

General Clinton did not wish to fight a 
battle except on ground of his 



own choosing. He found 
:^^^ // it slow marching along the 
/y sandy roads. He soon saw 
that General Washington would 
give him trouble if he undertook to 
march to the Karitan River; for Washington, al- 
though he had farther to march, was moving swiftly. 
On the 25th of June, Clinton concluded to make a rap- 
id march to Sandy Hook, and turned east for that purpose. 
On Saturday, June 27th, Captain Elijah Favor, engineer and aid to 
General Washington, was riding from division to division, exploring all 
the roads. General Washino^ton was at Eno;lishtown, six miles west of 
Monmouth, with Mifflin's, De Kalb's, and Stirling's divisions. Elijah 
started with an order to General Lee, who was commanding in advance, 
" to attack the enemy unless there should be powerful reasons to the con- 
trary." He found General Lee half-way between Englishtown and Mon- 
mouth Court-house, encamped near Freeliold meeting-house, a w^ooden 
building, wi^h a weather-cock on the steeple, and old moss-covered grave- 
stones around. ^ 




Xot far beyond the meeting-honse was the parsonage-house, a small, 
one-storied building, with a steep roof, a chimney at each end, a well- 
sweep and a barn near by. 
^w^- Beyond the parsonage was an 

orchard, and beyond that a 
swamp. He crossed the swamp 
on a corduroy road, and came 
to a hill east of it, where Mr. 
Wikoff lived. Near Mr. Wi- 
koff's was a hedge-fence. Eli- 
jah was accustomed to observe, 
tlie natural features of tlie 
country, and he saw in an in- 
stant that a body of men shel- 
tei'ed by such a hedge miglit 
make a stout resistance to an enemy in front. South-east from Mr. Wi- 
koff's was Mr. Carr's house, about half a mile distant. 
" The British are at the court-house," said Mr. Wikoff. 
Ehjah rode toward Mr. Carr's house, where he found General Lee's 
pickets. Fj'om Mr. Carrs he could see the Queen's Rangers and some in- 
fantry encamped in a field just north of the court-house. He could see 
that there was a road leading north from the conrt-house to Amboy, and 
another leading east toward Middletown and Sandy Hook. 

" Genei'al Clinton has sent his baggage in advance to Middletown," 
said Mr. Carr, " and these are only the rear-guard. There are more troops 
up in that direction," he added, pointing north-east. 

Elijah tur-ned north, for he was almost up to the British pickets, and 
rode through the fields till he came to a road leading from the meeting- 
house to the Amboy road, rode up that to the Amboy road, where he 
could see the British grenadiers encamped on the east side of another 
swamp in a field. Having seen this, he hastened back to the meeting- 
house, saw Generals Lee and Lafayette, and reported what he had seen. 

- A little after midnight, Elijah rode from General Washington's head- 
quarters to General Lee's with an order. General Washington wished 
General Lee to send six or eight hundred men south of the court-house 
to make an attack upon the British the moment they were ready to 
move on. 

It was Sunday morning. General Lee read the order, looked at his 
watch, and saw that it was nearly one o'clock. It would be light by three, 
and the British would beo-in to move before sunrise. 


" I will send Colonel Morgan," said General Lee. 

Captain Edwards, Lee's aid, wrote an order to Morgan, directing him 
to march at once and join General Dickinson, who was south-east of the 
court-honse, and to make an attack as soon as the British started. A few 
minutes later. Colonel Morgan was on the march. 

" The British are getting ready to move," was the word which General 
Dickinson sent in. 

General Lee ordered his troops to leave their packs by the meeting- 
house, and those who were lame and worn out to guard them. The troops 
were soon ready to move, but there was no one to guide them, l^one of 
the officers knew the ground. Elijah offered to act as guide. With six 
cavalry-men to act as scouts, the column started up the road leading from 
the meeting-house to the Amboy road. 

Colonel Grayson's Virginia regiment led the column, followed by Col- 
onel Jackson's Massachusetts regiment. Then came Scott's, Yarnum's, 
Wayne's, and Maxwell's brigade, and Colonel Oswald's artillery. Alto- 
gether, General Lee had about four thousand men. 

The sun had risen. The air was sultry. Not a breath stirred the 
leaves of the maples. The farmers, knowing that a battle was imminent, 
had flocked in from the surrounding country to see it, and walked along 
with the soldiers. There was no beating of drums, for General Lee did 
not want to let the British know that he was on the march. 

Colonel Grayson came to the Amboy road, marched across it, turned 
north-east, crossed a little brook winding through a swampy piece of 
ground. They were on the left flank of the British encamped on the plain. 
Colonel Jackson, General Scott, and General Maxwell followed. General 
Wayne marched straight across the road to a piece of woods, and w^as in 
front of the British. 

The pickets were firing at each other down by the court-house. He 
rode down in that direction. ]^orth-east of the conrt-house he could see 
the Queen's Eangers, ^we or six hundred, and as many grenadiers, getting 
ready to make a charge. He found General Lee talking with General 
Dickinson. " The whole British army is close by," said General Dickm- 
son, " and I think they will send a column to flank us on the right." 

It was nine o'clock, and the sun was intensely hot. The soldiers wiped 
the perspiration from their foreheads, drank at the brook, and filled their 
canteens. The British cavalry came trotting over the plain to make a 
charge, but Jackson's men fired a volley, and they fled in great confusion. 

Captain Oswald wheeled up two of his cannon across the swamp. He 
had only one ammunition-wagon, and it was so heavy that he cou^d not get 


274 THE BOYS OF '76. 

it across, and the soldiers carried the cartridges in their arms. He sent his 
shot whirring across the plain, plump into the ranks of the British. The 
British artillery opened — one twelve-pounder and five six-pounders. Os- 
wald's gimners fell, one by one, till at last there were not men enough to 
work one of the guns. 

General Wayne was under Lafayette, and his brigade moved down 
near the court-house. Lafayette thought it a good time to make a charge 
and capture the British cannon. 

" Be ready to charge," was Wayne's order to his troops. His soldiers 
believed in him. He was so fearless on the battle-field that they called 
him '• Mad Anthony." 

"Eetreat!" was the order that came to Wayne from Lee. Wayne 
could not understand it, but, instead of attacking, he began to retreat by 
the court-house. General Lee had discovered that Sir Llenry Clinton, who 
had started for Middletown, had faced about with his divisions, and was 
rapidly advancing. The information he received in regard to the British 
was contradictory. He did not wish to bring on a general engagement, 
but to cut off the rear-guard. The ground upon which he was located was 
not favorable, and he ordered the troops under Lafayette to fall back. 

Contradictoi-y orders reached Scott, Grayson, Maxwell, and Jackson. 
Some of the regiments were advancing, others standing still, others retreat- 
ing. Soon all was confusion. The British cavalry made a charge, and 
added to the confusion. Back through the woods and fields, and across 
the swamps, the troops marched — some of them going upon the run — pant- 
ing in the heat, back past Mr. Carr's house, through grain -fields and over 

General Washington had reached the meeting-house, where Lee's men 
had left their knapsacks. He was glad to know that, after all the months 
of waiting, he was at last up with the enemy. He gave the command of 
the right wing to General Greene, and the left to General Stirling, urging 
them to hasten on. He did not know what was going on in front, but just 
beyond the meeting-house he met a fifer who was running, and who was 
very much frightened. 

" What^re you running away for ?" asked Washington. 

" The army is retreating," said the fifer. 

^' The army retreating ! I'll have you whipped, sir, for telling such a 
story !" said Washington, who turned to a cavalry-man and said, " Here, 
keep this fellow under guard." 

Washino^ton rides on. He meets another man. 

" Do you belong to the army ?" 


"Yes, sir." 

" Where do yon come from, and what are yon retreating for ?" 

" The whole army is retreating." 

" I can not beheve it." 

" I will go forward, yonr Excellency, and see wliat this means," says 
one of Washington's aids, Colonel Harrison, who rides away npon the gal- 

" What are you retreating for ?" he asks of Captain Jones, in Colonel 
Grayson's reo-iment. 

" All of the troops are retreating." 

" What are you retreating for?" he asks of Captain William Smith. 
^ " That is more than I can tell." 

"Gn^rt^nn Harrison meets Colonel Ogden, and asks the same questions. 

Colonel Ogden is red in the face. He is hot and panting and angry, 
not at the question, but because the army is retreating. He swears a big- 

" We are flying from a shadow, sir ;" and then there are more oaths. 

Colonel Harrison meets Colonel Mercer. 

" You will find out presently what we are ]*etreating for. You will see 
several columns of infantry and horsemen in a few minutes," says Captain 

" There are no more British now than when they marched from Phila- 
delphia, and we came here to meet foot and' horse," is the reply of the 
plucky colonel. 

He meets Lieutenant-colonel Rhea, of l^ew Jersey. 

" What are you retreating for ?" is the question. 

" There is no need of our retreating, and we are not ordered to retreat 
to any particular place." 

General Washington rides across the swamp near the parsonage, as- 
cends the hill upon the other side of it, and meets General Lee. 

'' What is all this ?" Washington asks, with a flushed face. 

"Sir? sir?" 

It is all that General Lee can ntter at the moment. Perhaps he does 
not quite understand the question, and he sees that Washington is very 

" Whence this retreat, and what the meaning of this confusion ?" Wash- 
ington asks. 

" My orders have not been obeyed," Lee replies. 

" It is only the rear-guard and a covering party that you are retreating 



"Perhaps so; bnt the enemy is stronger than I am, and I did not want 
to risk being cut off." 

"You ought not to have solicited the command, unless you intended 
to fight." 

" It is not for the interest of the army to have a general action, and, 
under the circumstances, I did not feel warranted in bringing on one." 

General Washington makes no reply, but rides forward. 

The troops commanded by Lafayette and Wayne are coming from the 
court-house, marching past Mr. Carr's house. Colonel Oswald orders Cap- 
tain Cook to place two of his guns in the orchard near Mr. Carr's. Cook 
unlimbers them, and opens fire once more upon the British. 

Maxwell, Scott, Grayson, and Jackson are retreating through the woods 



««B ,|4H4 


a, a, position occupied by the British anny the night before the battle; &, British detach- 
ment moviug toward Monm mth ; c, c, British batteries ; d, d, Colonel Oswald's American bat- 
teries ; e, American troops formed near the court-house ; /, first position taken by Gwieral Lee 
in his retreat; g, attack of the British in the woods; h, h, position taken by Geuerffl Lee; i, a 
British detachment ; k, last position of tbe British troops west of the marsh ; m, army formed by Washing- 
ton ; n, British detachment ; o, American battery ; p, parsonage ; r, first position of British after the battle ; 
s, second position; f, where the British lay through the night; 1, the place where Washington met Lee; 2, 
the hedge-row; 3, the meeting-house; A, Maxwell's brigade; B, Wayne's brigade; C, Varnum's brigade; D, 
Scott's brigade; E, F, Jackson's and Grayson's regiments; G, Mr. Carr's house; H, I, J, Maxwell, Scott, 
Grayson, and Jackson marching to the attack; K, L, Greene and Varnum; M, Stirling; N, Lafayette; O, 
Greene and Washington, 

on the left. Yarnum's brigade is coming back by the hedge-fence. The 
British cavalry are pressing hard upon the rear of those retreating from 
the court-house. They are close upon the two cannon which Oswald has 
had in position on the plain. 

Elijah sees, and so does every body else, that, unless a stand be made on 
the hill between Mr. Carr's house and the swamp, the guns will be lost. 
He remembers the hedge-fence, and points out the spot to General Wayne. 

"Take position there!" shouts Wayne to Lieutenant - colonel Olney, 


leading Yarn urn's brigade. The panting men, just ready to drop fainting 
to the earth, overcome by the heat, file round the fence, and take position 
behind it. Past them go the retreating troops. Cook has got his two 
cannon into position. Oswald is there with Cook. On come the British. 
The cannon thunder, and Yarn urn's men pour in a deadly fire, and the 
British cavalry-men tumble from their horses, and the grenadiers reel to 
the earth. 

Up to this moment there has been no battle, only a little skirmishing 
and cannonading. A golden opportunity has been lost through a misun- 
derstanding of orders, through indecision, through contradictory informa- 
tion, through disinclination of Lee to bring on a general engagement. Far 
different w^ould have been the aspect x)f affairs, if Scott, Jackson,, Grayson, 
Maxwell, and Wayne had been directed to fall with all their force upon 
the British early in the morning. But now they are all in retreat. The 
militia, under Dickinson, are scattered everywhere, while Morgan, who 
lias been making a long march to be ready to fall upon the British flank, 
is chafing like a lion under the change that has taken place in Lee's ar- 
rangements. It will not do for him to attack now. Lee and Washington 
meet once more by the hedge -fence. It is no time for the commander- 
in-chief to be angry now. He needs Lee's services. 

" Will you take comihand here, sir ?" Washington asked. 

" Yes, sir; and your orders shall be obeyed." 

Washington rides across the causeway to the parsonage. The main 
army has arrived. In a moment Greene is arranging his division on the 
right, and Stirling on the left. 

"Form in rear!" is Washington's order to the retreating troops; and 
Grayson, Maxwell, Scott, Jackson, Wayne, all form behind the new line. 

General Knox has been riding over the fi^ld. He sees where he can 
plant his cannon to good advantage. The British, under Cornwallis, have 
been coming round upon the left, and now Clinton advances from the 
court-house. Yarnum retreats across the swamp. Captain Cook brings 
back his guns, and the British artillery and infantry take possession of the 
hedge-fence, and the battle begins in earnest. 

It is past noon. The sun hangs like a brazen ball in the sky. There 
is not a breath of air to cool the fevered brows of the soldiers in either 
army. Men drop fainting to the earth, stricken down by the sun. Some 
of the skirmishers are in an orchard, and fight beneath the shade of the 
apple-trees. Some gain the covert of the woods, secure themselves behind 
the trees, and pour a galling fire upon the red-coats. Some find shelter in 
the parsonage barn. Spectators have climbed upon the roof of the meet- 



^w ^^' ^ fi 


[This view is toward the north. The house is the parsonage in which 

Mr. Freemau lived. The tree at the left hand, with boys and dog beneath it, 

is standing in the orchard where Wayne took position on the retreat, and 

where Oswald opened his batteries. The American line extended past the 

house. On the hill beyond the well-sweep General Greene posted his men ; 

and on the hill seen in the distance, between the honse and barn, Stirling 

took position. The morass was in the hollow to the right of the barn. The 

hedge-row was on the top of the hill beyond the two men in the field. The British cannon were planted 

there. General Knox placed the American artillery behind the house. The British General Monckton was 

killed on the side of the hill near where the two men are standing.] 


ing-hoiise to watch the strife. Some are standing in the chiirch-yard. A 
. cannon-ball comes bounding over the ground, and mortally wounds a man 
who is sitting npon a grave-stone. 

Oswald's men work their guns with great vigor, sending solid shot and 
grape-shot across the swamp into the ranks of the British. One of the 
gunners, an Irishman, falls. He is married, and his wife Molly has been 
with him through all the campaign. She is bringing water from a spring 
for the gunners to wet the sponges when they swab the cannon. She 
puts down her bucket, seizes the rammer, and takes his place at the gun. 
The army cheers her as she rams home cartridge after cartridge. 

All through the afternoon the fight goes on. 'No more retreating now. 
The drill which the soldiers have had under Baron Steuben, at Yalley 
Forge, is telling in this battle. Since that terrible day for the British at 
Bunker Hill, Sir Henry Clinton has seen no such obstinate fighting. Corn- 
wallis makes an attempt to turn Stirling's left, but is driven. Clinton 
pounds away at Wayne in the centre, but without avail. He tries to turn 
Greene's right, but Knox brings up his spare guns, and sends a storm of 
shot and shell into the advancing ranks. 


The sun goes down with the roar of the conflict still rolling far away. 
The troops of both armies are exhausted ; but Washington, having restored 
order out of confusion, having held his ground against every attempt of 
Clinton and Cornwallis, is determined to renew the attack in the morning. 
He sends General Poor, with the E"ew Hampshire troops from Stirling's 
position, round upon the left, to be ready to begin the attack at daylight. 

The troops eat their supper without leaving their ranks, and lie upon 
their arms. Washington issues his final orders, wraps himself in his dloak, 
and lies down with them. 

Midnight. The British are astir. They, too, have been lying upon 
their arms. Silently they rise and move away, regiment by regiment, 
battery after battery, the pickets going last: all so quietly and secretly, 
that General Poor's pickets hear nothing of the departure. 

Day breaks, and General Poor is ready to begin the attack ; but there 
is no one to be attacked — none but the w^ounded and the dead ; for Clin- 
ton has fled, and is on his march to Middletown, leaving all his wounded 
behind him. He is too far away to be overtaken. He has lost nearly 
one thousand in killed, w^ounded, and prisoners, while Washington has lost 
less than three hundred. So Washington brought victory out of defeat. 

280 THE BOYS OF 76. 



T^HE British were in possession of the town of Newport, in Eliode Isl- 
-L and. General Prescott, who had succeeded Earl Percy, was in com- 
mand in the summer of 1777. lie was proud, haughty, and a tyrant. He 
arrested many of the citizens, threw^ them into prison, and kept them there 
moutli after month, preferring no charges against them. 

When walking the streets, if he saw two or three citizens talking to- 
gether, he would shout, " Disperse, you dann ed rebels !" 

Every man was expected to take off his hat to him. One evening as he 
was riding out to his quarters, he overtook a Quaker, who walked along 
minding his own business, taking no notice of the ruffian general, who 
rode his horse against the inoffensive man, pinned him against the wall, 
knocked off his hat, and told his guard to arrest him. 

He gave splendid parties, and lived like a nabob, plundering the poor, 
defenseless people, and cultivating the friendship of the rich Tories. 

There was a brave, cool-headed man in Providence, Colonel William 
Barton, who resolved to capture the tyrant. Colonel Barton received in- 
formation that Prescott had taken Mr. Overing's house for his head-quar- 
ters. Mr. Overing lived about midway the island, five miles from IS'ew- 
port, the house overlooking the blue, waters of ^^sarraganset Bay. It was 
a large, old-fashioned, two-storied house, witli a gambreled roof, and trees 
around it, nearly a mile from the water. 

Colonel Barton and John Hunt, a soldier in Colonel Elliot's company 
of artillery, talked oyer the expedition. John was born near Mr. Over- 
ing's house, and knew every room in it, and the grounds around, and 
where would be the best place to make a landing. 

Colonel Barton selected Captain Eleazer Adams, Lieutenant Andrew 
Stanton, Lieutenant John Wilcox, and Lieutenant Samuel Potter, men as 
cool and courageous as himself, to be his officers, tie selected Joshua 
Babcock and Samuel Phillips as sergeants, and thirty-four men, every one 
accustomed to rowing, all brave men, and ready to follow their leader any- 
where without asking any questions. 





It was past nine o'clock, on the night of July 10th, 1777, when Col- 
onel Barton started from Warwick Point, on the west shore of Karra- 
ganset Bay, with six boats. Their oars 
were muffled. The men rowed in si- 
lence. It was a long pull down past 
Prudence Island and over to the other 
shore; but the strong-armed rowers 
sent the boats swiftly through the wa- 
ter. There were three British frigates 
at anchor which they must pass, and 
the frigates had guard-boats here and 
there, which must be avoided. They 
heard the ships' bells strike the hour of 
midnight as they glided past the frig- 

John Hunt knew the best place for 
a landing — a little cove sheltered by 
trees. Silently the boats came to the 
shore, and silently the men laid down their oars and stepped upon the 
beach. They were divided into parties, one to keep the boats, the others 
to approach the house from different directions. Each man knows what 
he is to do. Up a sheltered ravine they move. South of them, not a 
hundred rods distant, are the head-quarters of the cavalry, and north of 
them, not more than eighty rods, are the head-quarters of the guard ; and 
these brave men are slipping in between, to seize a general and carry him 
away ! It is a bold undertaking. Half of the party moves toward the 
house under cover of a ^^iece of woods; the other crosses a barley -field 
into the road, and approaches the front of the house, where a sentinel is 
pacing his beat. John Hunt and Colonel Barton are in advance, and 
right behind are the true men, ready to act their part. 

" Who comes there ?" 

^o answer. 

" Who comes there ? Advance, and give the countersign." 

" We have no countersign. Have you seen any deserters ?" 

The answer quiets the sentinel's fears, and in an instant he is a prison- 
er, disa^;med, and a pistol at his face. 

" -Alake the least noise, and you are a dead man." 

Quickly the door is opened. Major Barrington, Prescott's aid, hears 
men tramping through the hall and ascending the stairs. He springs to a 
winCow, and leaps to the ground, but only to find himself a prisoner. 



General Prescott hears the disturbance, sits up in bed, wondering what 
is going on. - Tlie door of his room opens, and Colonel Barton and his 
men rush in. The candle-light falls upon the frightened Briton. 

" You are my prisoner, sir. Come in silence, as you value your life." 

" Will you not let me dress ?" 

"Xo time for that. Put on your cloak." 

General Prescott's cloak is thrown over his shoulders, one of the party 
gatliers up his breeches and stockings, and they descend the stairs. Two 


men lock arms with him, and at a quick- 
step the prisoners are borne to the boats. 
Silently the boats move away past the frigates and guard -boat? '^'' 
rowers could hear a commotion on shore — drums beating, gun 
rockets shooting upward ; but their arms were strong, the night v 
and before daylight the boats were at the "Warwick landing. 

" You ha\e made a bold push," says Prescott, now that he 
mitted to speak. 



" And have been fortunate," is Barton's quiet reply. 
Morning dawned, and there was a commotion. A coaoli drove into 
town, in which w^ere seated Colonel Elliot (who owned it), Colonel Barton, 
and the hated British general and his major, guarded by Colonel Barton's 
soldiers. Ever}^ body rushed into the street to see the crest-fallen prison- 
ers, rejoicing at the capture of the hated tyrant. 

Prescott was sent to General Washington, then on the Hudson. lie 
passed through Lebanon, Connecticut, and the party guarding him stopped 
at Captain Alden's tavern for dinner. Among other dishes on the table 
was one of succotash — -boiled beans and corn. Prescott never had seen 
any such food, and did not know how delicious it was ; for corn in En- 
gland is only fed to hogs, and beans to sheep. He threw 
the dish upon the floor. 

" Do you give me pigs' feed ?" he said, in a rage. 

That roused Captain Alden, who got his horse - whip, 

and gave the haughty fellow a terrible whipping, and 

taught him a lesson which he remembered, 

for he was very careful not to throw any 

more dishes upon the floor. 

In May, 1778, General Pigot, who was 
in command of the British in [N^ewport, 
:^ sent Lieutenant-colonel Campbell, with six 
-^ hundred men, to burn some boats which 
the Americans were building at Warren. 
They sailed on a frigate and in boats. At 
daylight the people in Warren were astonished to find an army marching 
into town with drums beating and colors flying. The British burned the 
boats and the meeting -house, entered the houses, captured the citizens, 
and marched on to Bristol, burned twenty houses there, snatched rings 
from the fingers of the women, stole their silver shoe-buckles, pillaged the 
houses, and started back. 

Word was sent to Providence of what was going on. Colonel Barton 
started, with twenty men, on horseback. The farmers in the surrounding 
towns joined him. They came upon the British at Bristol Ferry, and bold- 
ly attacked them. Colonel Barton and four of his men were wounded, but 
several of the British fell before they reached their boats. 

On the retreat through Warren, a drummer with a big base-drum fell 
behind. Some women, seeing that there were no troops near, seized w^hat- 
ever they could lay their hands on for weapons — brooms, shovels, and tongs 
— I'an out, and surrounded him. 




" You are our prisoner," they shouted. 

"I am not sorry to be captured, for I am very tired," said the drum- 
mer, giving himself np. 

In July, 1778, a large number of vessels arrived from England with 
troops. It was supposed that the British intended to attack Providence 
and march to Boston. General Pigot had seven thousand men ; while 
General Sullivan, who was at Providence, had only sixteen hundred. 

ADMlliA.L 1> LsTAI>G. 

But the 29tli of June was a joyful day to the Americans, for twelve 
French line-of -battle ships and four frigates sailed into jS'arraganset Bay. 
It was the fleet of Count D'Estaing — the first French fleet to arrive on the 
coast to aid the Americans. 

There was great consternation among the British at Newport. Three 
British vessels over in the East Bay were at once blown up, and four frig- 
ates and a corvette were run ashore and burned in Ne^vport Harbor — the 



Cerherus, twenty-eight guns ; Falcon, sixteen ; LarJc, thirty-two ; Orjpheiis, 
thirty-two; Juno, thirty -two; Grand Duke, forty; Flora, thirty-two — in 
all, the vessels carried two hundred and twelve gnns. This was a sad loss 
to the British, but it was better to destroy them than to have them fall 
into the hands of the French. 

General Sullivan was in com- 
mand at Providence. The militia 
flocked in from Massachusetts and 
j^ew Hampshire, as well as from 
Khode Island. Generals Greene 
and Lafayette came with some of 
the Continental troops. Elijah Fa- 
vor came : he was a major now. 

On the 9th of August, General 
Sullivan crossed the narrow^ strait 
at the north end of Rhode Island 
with about eight thousand men. At 
the same time, D'Estaing landed 
twenty -five hundred troops on the 
island of Canonicut, in the harbor. 
But that very afternoon another 
fleet appeared in sight — thirteen 
line - of - battle ships and twenty- 
three others — Lord Howie's fleet 
from New York. The French 
troops were re - embarked, and 
D'Estaing sailed down the bay to 
meet Howe in the open ocean. 

The. wind was east, thick clouds 
rolling in from the sea, the wind 
blowing a gale, and the rocky shores 
white with surf ; but the fleets en- 
gaged. The French captured the 
Senegal, frigate, and' a bomb -ves- 
sel ; but D'Estaing's own vessel, the Languedoc, had its masts and spars 
badly splintered. A storm came on, and the admirals, instead of send- 
ing each other to the bottom, had quite enough to attend to in manag- 
ing the vessels. 

For two days and nights the storm raged. The troops suffered severe- 
ly. They had no shelter except the fences and walls. They were wet 


286 THE BOYS OF 76. 

through, their provisions were spoiled, their powder damaged. Fair weath- 
er came, but the French fleet, instead of returning to Xewport, sailed for 

A grand opportunity was lost. Had the French fleet remained in the 
harbor, and the French troops co-operated with the Americans, with the 
fleet to help, the British lines could have been carried, and the army capt- 
ured ; but now the Americans must retreat. 

On the night of the 2Sth of August the army fell back twelve miles 
to Butts's Hill, at the north end of the island. Elijah Favor rode here and 
there to see where the troops could be advantageously placed, and fortifi- 
cations erected to cover the retreat. He saw that there were two roads — 
one over on the east side, and one near the west side of the island. He 
was quite sure that the British would advance up both roads in pursuit, 
and they did. 

At daylight there was a commotion in the British camp. Lieutenant- 
colonel Campbell and the Twenty-second regiment marclied in haste up the 
east road about &\e miles, and came to a cross-road which ran up the 
hill toward the west past Mr. Gibbs's house. A part of the regiment 
went up the cross-road, little thinking that there was a regiment of Amer- 
cans lyiug in wait for them behind Mr. Gibbs's stone wall, and tliat Col- 
onel Laurens, Colonel Fleury, and Major Talbot, with the rear-guard of 
the Americans, were holding the roads ; but suddenly there was a flash- 
ing of guns, and nearly half of the Twenty -second regiment went down 
before the murderous Are. Two Hessian regiments came to the support 
of Lieutenant -colonel Campbell, but before they arrived the rear-guard 
was retreating to the main army, near Butts's Hill. 

The British followed, and by noon the whole army was drawn up in 
line of battle on Quaker Hill and Anthony's Hill, about a mile from 
Butts's, while the fleet sailed up the bay to throw shot and shells into the 
American camp. 

General Greene was in command of the right wing of the Americans. 
He had Glover's, Yarnum's, Cornell's, and Colonel Christopher Greene's 
brigade. It was the same Colonel Greene who commanded at Ked Bank, 
aud defeated Count Donop. General Greene posted his men in the woods 
between Anthony's and Butts's Hill, and waited for the British. 

It is nearly two o'clock in the afternoon when the Hessians descend 
the slope of Anthony's Hill and approach Greene's line. They are con- 
fident of driving the Yankees; but suddenly the woods blaze with mus- 
ketry, and the advancing line is thrown into confusion. The Hessians fire 
a few volleys, but are driven. 




a, Anthony's Hill. 

h, Quaker Hill. 

The day is very warm, and the Hessians in the open field snffer from 
the heat and the terrible fire poured upon them, while the Americans in 
the shade suffer very little. Though the ships are sending broadsides into 
the \voods, few are killed or wounded. 

The British are ready at last for a gi-and attack. General Pigot sends 
a large force to drive Greene from his position, and the battle begins in 
earnest. The troops approach the woods and open fire. The British ar- 
tillery on the hill are throwing shot and shell upon' Butts's Hill, and the 
American cannon there are replying. The ships fire broadsides; but 
General Sullivan has sent some heavy guns down to the water's edge, 
and the Americans train these guns so correctly that the shot take effect 
upon the vessels, which very soon cut their cables, and sail away from the 
destructive fire. 

General Sullivan sees that Pigot is massing nearly all of his troops in 
front of Greene, and sends out a party to attack Pigot's right wing ; and 


[The view is taken from the American intrenchments on Bntts's Hill. The windmill is on Quaker Hill. 
The hill at the right is Anthony's. The British artillery fired from both hills. Sullivan replied from, the 
ditch in the foreground. The battle was down by the third fence, at the left hand of the view. A small 
brook winds along near the fence, and in the ravine was a belt of woods, where Greene posted his men.] 



the militia attack with snch vigor that Pigot does not dare to weaken his 
right wing to strengthen his left. 

Pigot resolves to make a grand charge npon Greene. His men ad- 
vance, but are cut down almost as rapidly as the British were at Bunker 
Hill. Colonel Christopher Greene's regiment is composed of neo'roes, 
many of whom have been slaves ; but they fight for their liberty now with 
desperation. The British and Hessians approach the woods to drive the 
Americans out with the bayonet, but are unable. The lines weaver and 
break, and the Americans rush out, capture a cannon, and return in tri- 
umph to their lines. 

, The sun goes down. Two hundred and eleven Americans have been 
killed, wounded, or captured, while the British have lost, including prison- 
ers, one thousand and twenty -three. 


[The view shows the intreuchinents in the foreground. The Americans retreated past the booses iu the 
centre of the picture.] 

Thus closed one of the best-managed battles of the war. But General 
Sullivan, though he had repulsed the British, saw that he must retreat to 
the main-land, for Sir Henry Clinton had arrived with four thousand men, 
and the ships could come up on both sides and cut off his retreat. Silently 
the troops marched away in the darkness, and before morning the whole 
army was on the main-land. 





SAVANNAH was in tke hands of the British, and so was the whole 
State of Georgia. The Tories ootnu inhered the patriots. Sir Henry 
Clinton thought that South Carolina could be made loyal by a vigorous 
campaign, and that North Carolina and Virginia would soon wheel into 
line as loyal provinces. The loyal cause was far more hopeful in the 
South than in the North. To bring back those revolted provinces, he 
sailed from New York with five thousand men, and a large fleet, under 
Admiral Arbuthnot, to subdue Charleston, and anchored at Edisto Inlet, 
south of Charleston, on the 10th of February, 1780. Tlie times were hard 
in South Carolina. The paper money was of so little value that it took 
seven hundred dollars to buy a pair of shoes. The people were nearly dis- 
couraged, and the patriotism which 
had flamed so gloriously in '76 was 
dying out. Many of the people 
were ready to swear allegiance to 
the king. 

General Lincoln was in com- 
mand at Charleston. When the 
British landed, he had only four- 
teen hundred men, aiid m.ore than 
half of these were from North Car- 
olina, and their term of enlistment 
was nearly ended. Lincoln did not 
think that he could hold the city; 
but Clinton staid a month at Edis- 
to before beginning operations, and 
Lincoln changed his mind and be- 
gan to throw up intrenchments west of the town, for he saw that Clinton 
would be likely to attack from that direction. The town is situated on a 
tongue of land between the Cooper and Ashley rivers. Re-enforceraents 





were on tlieir way — seven linndred Yirginians, nnder General Woodford, 
who came to take the place of the Carolina troops. Governor Kutledo-e, 

the State Executive, called upon 
i\ the 

^ came 



nniitia to turn out; but few 
however, and General Lin- 
coln could nuister only abont two 
thousand men. 

On the 20th of March, Admiral 
Arbuthnot got his fleet over the 
bar. He did not attempt to attack 
Fort ]\K)ultrie ; but though the 
guns of the fort flred at the fleet, 
he sailed past it, and anchored 
within cannon - shot of the town. 
General Clinton had already march- 
ed up the shore, and seized Fort 
Jolmson, on the south side of the 
harboi*. Fi'om there he marched 
up the south bank of the Ashl(5y. The boats from the fleet went np past 
the town, ferried the troops across the river, and on the .1st of April the 
siege began. On the 2d of April, Lord Cornwallis arrived from N'ew York 
\nth three thousand troops, and the British took possession of the country 
east of Cooper Kiver. No fresh provisions conld be carried into Charles- 
ton now. All communication with the outside world was cnt off. Lin- 
coln thought he could force his way ont throngh Sir Henry's lines between 
the Coo}3er and the xVshley, but the people implored him not to abandon 
the city. The American general and the inhabitants agreed npon terms 
of capitulation — to give up tlie city, if the troops could be allowed to re- 
tire; but Sir Henry, having got the American fort in his grasp, would not 
accept the terms, and the siege went on. Day and night bombs were 
bursting and cannon-shot crashing through the town. The Tories in the 
city were doing what they could to help the British. A flag was sent out 
to know what Sir Henry would consent to, and word came back that 
tj-oops, ships, supplies, every thing, must be surrendered without any con- 
ditions. Private property would not be molested, and the prisoners might 
be paroled. General Lincoln would not surrender on such tei'ms, and the 
firing began. All through the day and night of May 10th shells were 
bursting in the town. AVomen and children were killed, and there was no 
place of safety. The fleet came up, and were ready to bombard the town. 
To hold out any longer was useless; more than that, it would be inhuman ; 



and on the 12tli of May the A in eri cans marched ont and gave up their 
arms. Four hundred cannon fell into the hands of the British, and two 
thousand prisoners. Two hundred and ten of the influential citizens sign- 
ed an address of cono^ratulation to Clinton. The Tories clieered, swung: 
their hats, and many of them enlisted in the royal service. People from 
the country came in and swore allegiaiice to the king. Sir Henry was 
greatly gratified. In a very short time Carolina, as well as Georgia, would 
be wholly loyal. He divided his army — sending Cornwallis, with about 
three thousand men, toJivard North Carolina, and Lieutenant -colonel Con- 
gei-, with nearly tw^o thousand, one hundred and fifty miles west to a place 
called " Ninety - six." H^ sent another detachment from Savannah to 
Augusta. These would overawe the patriots, and the loyalists would be 
in power once more. 

There was only one body of American troops in the State. Colonel 
Abraham Buford had raised four hundred men, and was on his way to 
Charleston with two pieces of artillery when the city capitulated. He 
was one hundred and forty miles from Charleston in the north-west, re- 
treating to North Carolina. Sir Henry Clinton had one energetic cavalry 
ofiicer. Colonel Tarleton, a young lawj^er from Liverpool, twenty-six years 
old, a tli'ck-set, swarthy man, with black eyes, and sullen, revengeful tem- 




per. Sir Henry directed liirn to disperse tliis last remnant of patriot sol- 
diers in tlie Soutli. Tarleton liad seven hundred men on horseback — a 
part of them cavalry, and the rest mounted infantr}^ He went like the 

wind, one hundred and five miles in fifty-five 
hours; and before Euford mistrusted that the 
British were near him, found himself sur- 

Tarleton sent a summons to surrender. 
"Sir," the sunnnons began, "resistance being 
vain, to prevent the effusion of human blood 
1 make offers which can never be repeated. 
You are now almost encompassed by a corps 
of seven hundred troops on horseback : half 
of that number are infantry, with cannon ; 
the rest, cavalry. Earl Cornwallis is like- 
wise within a short march, with nine British battalions." 

This was a lie. Cornwallis was far awa}", and Tarleton had only about 
four hundred men — the other three hundred having been tired out. Col- 
onel Buford considered them humiliating, and would not accept them. 

While the fiag of truce was raised, while Buford was conferring with 
Tarleton's officers, Tarleton was arranging his men. It was a violation of 
all the rules of war — an expedient which an honorable-minded man w^ould 
have scorned to use. But Tarleton was not an honorable man. Buford's 
men stood at ease, not expecting an attack. The flag of truce went back 
to Tarleton's lines, and a moment later the British cavalry, with drawn 
swords, were rushing from all directions npon the Americans. In a mo- 
ment the lines were broken. A few fired their guns, but most of the sol- 
diers threw them down and gave themselves up as prisoners. Then began 
the butcherv. One hnndred and thirteen men killed outrio^ht ; one hun- 
dred and fifty wounded. Only fifty-three were spared. 

Tarleton made no effort to restrain liis men. He saw the defenseless 
men cut down by his savage soldiers, and murdered in cold blood. Bu- 
ford and a few others escaped. The British loss w^as only five killed, and 
fifteen wounded. 

Tarleton left the wounded lying npon the field of slaughter, and, with 
his prisoners and the two captured cannon and wagons, marched back to 
General Cornwallis, who wrote an account of the achievement to Sir Hen- 
ry Clinton. "I can only add," he said, "the highest enconiums on the 
conduct of Lieutenant-colonel Tarleton. It will give me the most sensible 
satisfaction to hear that vour excellencv has been able to obtain for him 



some distinguislied mark of his majesty's favor." The favor of the king 
for butcheriiig three hundred men who had thrown down their arms ! 

General Clinton, Lord Cornwallis, and Colonel Tarleton perhaps 
thoiio-ht that such a massacre would intimidate the people, and make 






them loving subjects of the king; but it had just the opposite effect. Tlie 
patriots on their farms among the Carohna hills were more determined 
than ever to resist the British. 

Xot far from the place of the massacre was a school, kept by Mr. 
Humphries. One of the boys attending scliool and studying Latin was 
named Andrew Jackson, thirteen years old. His older bt'other had been 
killed at Srono Inlet, near Charleston, by the British. Andrew w^s not at 
all awed by the slaughter of Buford's men, nor were the settlers, who form- 
ed themselves into a company as soon as Tarleton departed, and Andrew 


was one of the number. A few weeks later a party of British came back 
to ^axhaw, where Andrew lived, to plunder the inhabitants. The com- 
pany assembled at the meeting-house, and the British attacked them. An- 
drew and another brother escaped ; but the next day the Tories t^ld the 
British where they were secreted, and they were captured. 

Andrew was placed under guard. One of the British officers came 
up to him. " Here, sir, clean my boots !" he said, imperiously. 

" I am a prisoner of war, sir, and I look for such treatment as I am 
entitled to," said Andrew. 

Out came the ruffian's sword. A blow was aimed at Andrew's head. 





The boy threw up his left arri to ward it off, and the bright blade camt. 
down upon the arm, cleaving the flesh to tlie bone. His brother also was- 
wounded in the head, 
because he would 
do the biddino^ of 
brutal fellows. Kot sat- 
isfied with this, they were 
thrust into jail. Xo sur- 
o^eon came to dress their 
wounds. The older broth- 
er, Robert, soon sickened 
and died, and Andrew was 
left alone in the world. 
He was exchanged a few 
days later. He paid the 
British off in 1813, at 
Xew Orleans, when com- 
mander of the American army. From the little old tumble-down house 
in which he was born at Waxhaw, he marched on through life to be Pres- 
ident of the United States. 

When General Washington discovered, in May, that Sir Henry Clinton 
had sailed southward, he sent Baron De Kalb, with General Smallwood 
and fourteen hundred troops fi'om Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia, south. 
They started from Morristown, New York, on the 14th of April. A long 

and weary march was before the troops. 

It was the 6 th of July when they reach- 
ed Hillsborough, in Xorth Carolina. The 
news of the fall of Charleston and the 
massacre at AYaxhaw reached General 
Washincrton, and he saw that De Ivalb. 
though a brave ofiicer, was not the man. to 
organize an army in the South, and Gen- 
eral Gates was appointed commander of 
the Southern department. 

It was a hard task that Gates had be- 
fore him. A majority of the people in 
South Carolina were Tories. The patriots 
were crushed out. There was no public spirit. It was the hot season 
of the J ear. Loyalists swarmed, ready to give information to Cornwallis 
and withhold it from Gates, to send him on a false scent, or betray him 





at every opportunity. He bad no money and few supplies. But there 
were patriots in North Carolina who had turned out under General Cas- 
well Tlie patriots in South Caro- 
lina were not all dead. Colonel 
Sumter had raised a few hundred 
men, and was harassing the Britisli 
wherever he could get a chance, cut- 
ting off their supplies, capturing a 
few prisoners here and a few more 
there. Cornwallis learned that 
Gates was approaching, and hasten- 
ed from Charleston to Camden, one 
hinidred miles north-west. General 
Gates sent a part of his little force 
to G<E)lonel Sumter, who was farther 
south, ana marched with the rest 
toward Camden, where twenty -five 
hundi-ed British and Tories had 
concentrated under Cornwallis. General Stevens, with seven hundred 
Virginia militia, joined General Gates. 

The American army was at Rugeley's Mills, thirteen miles north of 
Camden. Gates intended to make a night march and surprise Cornwal- 
lis. Colonel Armand, with some cavalry, led the column, followed by 
the Maryland and Delaware brigades, under Colonel Smallwood and Gen- 
eral Gist. This division was under De Kalb. Then came the ISToi-th Car- 
olina militia, under General Caswell, and the Virginians, under General 
Stevens. It was ten o'clock when the column started. There were about 
four thousand in all. 

One day a strange cavalcade came into Gates's camp — twenty or thirty 

men on horseback, in a o-reat varietv 

of costumes, some in uniform, some 
in citizen's dress, some in deer-skins — 
white' men and negroes — but all had 
rifles. Their leader was Francis Mar- 
ion, a brave, keen -eyed, active man, 
who, with his few men, was a con- 
stant thorn to Cornwallis, cutting off 
his supplies, pouncing upon his scout- 
ing parties, here one day, somewhere else to-morrow, hidi 
eluding the. British, riding a hundred miles, and striking 8 





appearing before Cornwallis could overtake him. People called him- the 
''Swamp Fox." 

Marion was a partisan leader, but Gates did not have a high opinion 
of partisans, and took no pains to cultivate Marion's friendship, and so de- 
prived himself of a valuable ally. 


Cornwallis, in Camden, has conceived the idea of Aiaking a night 
march and surprising General Gates. His officers know the country; 

298 THE BOYS OF 76. 

the}' say that Gates is in a weak position at Hugeley's Bridge. The Tories 
will guide and aid him. 

At the same time that Gates begins to move, Cornwallis is also on the 
march. Silently, through the darkness, the two armies approach each 
other along the road parallel to tlie Wateree Kiver, and about two miles 
east of it. 

It is two o'clock in the morning. The American cavalry cross Graney 
Quarter Creek, a little stream running into the Wateree. They ascend 
the hill south of it, and march past a clearing. The road is sandy. The 
column is winding through the woods. The road passes between two 
swamps, and just south of the swamps is another liule stream, Sander's 
Creek. The British column has crossed Sander's Creek, and is between 
the swamps. 

The two armies are face to face. Both are surprised. There is a quick 
flashing of muskets. Some of Ai-mand's tro()i)S are killed at the lirst fire, 


and the others fall back, throwing the column into confusion. Colonel 
Porterfield, a brave officer, who has connnauded one of the flanking par- 
ties in the march, falls mortally wounded. Colonel Armstrong, command- 
ing the right flank, rallies his men, pours a volley .into the British lines, 
and both armies come to a stand-still. 

General Gates is surprised, so is Cornwallis; bnt Cornwallis sees that 
he has an advantageous position. There is a swamp east of him, a swamp 
west of him. Gates can not flank him on either side. He can form his 
men in a line between the swamps and win a victory. 

Gates does not know the ground. It is dark. The men see nothing of 
the enemy. He calls a council of his officers. '' Gentlemen, you know 
the ground better than I do. What are your opinions?" he asked. 

The officers did not know the ground. 

'' It is too late to retreat." savs General Stevens. 



"Then nothing more is to be said. Gentlemen will please take their 
posts," Gates replies. 

It is a simple matter for Cornwallis to form his men. He has only to 
parade them across the road, and out in the woods on either side. Gen- 
eral Webster commands on the east side, and Lord Rawdon on the west. 

General Gates places the Second Maryland brigade and the Delaware 
troops west of the road, 
under General Gist. The 
iS^orth Carolina militia, 
under General Caswell, 
are posted in the centre. 
The Virginians, under 
General Stevens, are sent 
east of the road, and the 
First Maryland brigade, 
under Smallw^ood, is 
placed in the rear, on the 
east side of tlie road. 

The artillery of both 
armies is placed in the 
centre. All of this is 
done in the darkness. 
Day dawns. The Amer- 
ican artillery opens. Gen- 
eral Stevens's men nev- 
er have been under fire. 
They do not know what a 
battle is. They advance 
boldly to attack the Brit- 
ish regulars, who have 
been in many engage- *^ _.-__.-.. 

ments. The3' will drive the British with their bayonets. But suddenly 
the British, under Webster, are in motion toward the Yirginians, who fire 
one volley, then turn and flee, panic-stricken, frour the field, many throwing 
away their guns. 

A moment later, all the Xorth Carolina militia, under Caswell, except 
Dixon's regiment, do tlie same. The whole of Gates's left wing has given 
way : only the Continental troops and Dixon's right are left to oppose 
Cornwallis. The two armies are about equal in number now; but Corn- 
wallis has all the advantage of position. 

300 THE BOYS OF '76. 

Lord Rawdon advances upon the Americans, who receive his fire and 
return it. The American artillery (four pieces) pours grape and canister 
into the British ranks, and makes fearful havoc. The Marylandei's charge 
upon the Britisli and throw them into confusion. Some of the British iiee. 
Oh ! if the militia had only stood their ground, they would have driven the 
British pell-mell down the road, and across Sander's Creek to Camden, 
Smallwood advances with his brigade to take the place of the fugitives. 
He is too late. Ilis troops are too few, and General Webster, with the 
whole right wing of the British, closes in upon liim, and gains his flank. 
The battle rages from swamp to swamp. In the centre, on both sides, the 
artillery is flaming. 

No order comes from Gates to De Kalb. But an opportunity has 
come. Thinojs are favorable for a charo-e. 

"Forward! forward I" The order runs along the line. Tlie troops 
under Gist advance, pour in a volley, and make terrible havoc in the Brit- 
ish ranks. The British are driven, and fifty prisoners taken. Cornwallis 
i-allies his men, and liurls his whole force upon the Marylanders. The line 
that has stood so firmly, the men who have fought so nobly, are cut down 
in an instant. The day is lost. The artillery -horses are shot, the gunners 
bayoneted. The Americans flee — some across the swamp, others down the 
road, others through the woods. The British cavalry, under the blood- 
thirsty and implacable Tarleton, ride over the fugitives, trampling them 
down, slashing their heads open, showing no mercy. Once more it is a 
massacre. The brave De Kalb falls, pierced by eleven bayonet-w^ounds. 
The Delaware regiment is annihilated ; more than a third of the Ameri- 
cans are slaughtered, after giving themselves up as prisoners. Seven hun- 
dred are killed, wounded, or captured. The British loss was nearly five 
hundred. All the baggage, two hundred wagons, and eight cannon fell 
into Cornwallis's hands. " The Tories, seeing that the patriots are defeated, 
inhumanly murder the fugitives who ask for food at their doors. 

Tarleton went in pursuit of Sumter, who was on the west side of the 
Wateree, surprised him, massacred nearly two hundred men, took a large 
number of prisoners, and scattered the. whole of Sumter's force. 

Just before the battle at Camden, General Gates was so sure of vic- 
tory that he sent General Marion with his followers to destroy all the 
boats on the rivers between Camden and Charleston, in order to prevent 
Cornwallis's retreat. Marion was at work destroying the boats, when a 
negro brought him word that Gates was defeated, De Kalb killed, and the 
whole army routed, and that a party of British were coming to capture 
him, and near at hand. In a moment Marion and his men were dashing 



til rough the woods to a swamp not far from Kelson's Ferry, where he con- 
cealed his men. They were but thirty. 

Marion's scouts were on the lookout. One came riding in, saying that 
a party of British, with the prisoners captured at Camden, had started for 

" How many prisoners are there V Marion asked. 

''About two hundred." 

" How large is the guai-d ?" 

" We counted ninety." 

" I^inety ! These we must have," said Marlon. 


I Through the day Marion remains in the swamp. His men rest beneath 
tile leafy shade of the oaks. Long trails of moss hang pendent from the 
trees, waving in the summer breeze. So deep the shade, that at midday 
there is only twilight where the brave men lie concealed. At night, no 
01 e coudd find them there. 

The sun goes down. Their horses are fresh, The thirty will follow 

302 THE BOYS OF '76. 

their beloved comniaiider wherever he may lead. Out from the gloomy 
depths of the swamp tlity ride to the open ground, and, like the Avind, 
they dash away, and reach the AVateree Eiver, where the ferry-man in- 
forms him that he has just set the prisoners on the other side of t^ 
stream. The ferry -man is a Tory, and does not know that it is Marion 
whom he is paddling across. 

The British, with the prisoners, have halted for the night at the Blue 
Tavern. No pickets are out. The British officer in command of the party 
has no thought of a surprise, for the Americans have been utterly routed 
at Camden. Like a thunder- bolt, the thirty fall upon the guard. In a 
moment, they are captured, all the guns of the British stacked in the yard" 
before the tavern seized, and the prisoners released. The British officer 
in charge climbed up a chimney, thinking thus to hide ; but lie was quick- 
ly pulled out, well covered with soot. Thus, without losing a man, the 
■' Swamp Fox," whom Gates had looked down upon, released all the pris- 
oners, and captured ninety British. 





AFTER the capture of Forts Montgomerj and Clinton, on the Hud- 
son, in September, 1777, when Burgojne was at Saratoga, General 
Washington and Congress saw the necessity of having a strong fort erect- 
ed farther up the river at West Point, to protect the ferrying of troops and 
supplies between Xew England and the other colonies. Nature had made 
it so strong a place that it was not difficult to build a fortress which the 
whole British army could not capture. 

The young officer from Poland who had planned the intrenchments at 

D£ nnfi^M 






Stillwater — Thaddens Koscinszko — was employed to plan the intrencli- 
inents, and Captain Elijah Favor was directed to aid him. They began 
work on the 20tli of March, 1778, staking ont the lines, and setting a lar^^e 
nnmber of soldiers at work. The walls were of earth and logs, fourtetii 
feet high, and twentj^-one wide at the base. It was eighteen hnndred feet 
around the main work. There were bastions and ditches, and it had many 
angles. It could be approached from one side only — that toward tlie riv- 
er; and for a defense there, they erected a strong oak palisade — driving 
the logs into the earth, and bolting them together at the top. One hun- 
dred guns of all kinds were placed in the main foit and the surrounding 

To make it impossible for the British ships to get past it at night, it 
was decided to ha\e a great iron chain stretched across the river just 
above the fort. The links were large, and the whole cliain weighed one 
lumdred and eighty tons. The soldiers floated great pine -logs down the 
river, and laid them side by side, to buoy the chain ; fastened it to the logs 
with iron staples, and bolted each end to tlie ledges on the shores. The 
fort was so strong, and was so conveniently situated, that General Wash- 
ington had his supplies of powder stored there. 


While the fort was building, Elijah had his head -quarters at a house 
owned by Mr. Beverly Robinson, on the east side of the river, and two 
miles down stream. It was a delightful place, clog^ by the river, with a 
piazza on the south side, and surrounded by appj^plum, and cherry trees. 




Mr. Eobinson was a Tory, and had fled to New York, and had been com- 
missioned a colonel in the British service. Mr. Robinson's sister was Mary 

Phillipse, the jonng lady to whom, 
in 1756, General Washington paid 
his addresses, but who had married 
General Washington's old compan- 
ion in arms, Major Morris. 

After the British evacuated Phila- 
delphia, General: Arnold was sent by 
General Washington to take posses- 
sion of that city. He lived in fine 
style, gave good dinners, and spent 
more money than he received. Pie 
was forty years old, and a bache- 
lor; but he saw a girl who charmed 
him — Margaret Shippen, youngest 
daughter of Judge Shippen, who was 
only eighteen. His love was reciprocated, and she became Mrs. Arnold. 

General Arnold was in debt, and men who are hard pressed for mon- 
ey not nnfrequently do that wdiich is not lawful. He was in command, 
and a military commander in time of war has great power. He op- 
pressed the citizens, nsed the army teams for his own use, engaged in 
speculations, but lived in great stjde, 
and instead of diminishing his debts, 
became more deeply involved. The, 
people of Philadelphia were offend- 
ed at his exactions, and the Presi- 
dent and Council of the State pre- 
ferred charges against him to Con- 
gress, and a court-martial was order- 
ed to investigate them. 

General Arnold had spent money 
in Canada, and he sent a bill to Con- 
gress, claiming that a large amount 
was due him. Congress did not 
think that he was entitled to what 
he claimed, and Arnold resigned his 
commission. He was angry that a 
court should be called to investio^ate 
the charges against him. 





General Arnold's young wife held in kindly remembrance one of the 
young British officers, who, by his wit, his genial nature, his poetical tal- 
ents, his ability to paint pictures and make off-hand sketches, had made 
the winter so agreeable — Major John Andre — and who w^as now with 
Sir Henry Clinton in Xew York — his quarters at Mr. Kip's house, on the 
shore of the East River. Friendly letters passed between them. One day, 
among other letters received by Sir Henry Clinton by flag of truce from 
the American lines, was one from Philadelphia. The writer did not give 
his full name, but signed liimself Gustavus. He stated that he was a per- 
son of importance in the 
American service, but he 
was dissatisfled with what 
Congress was doing. He 
did not like the alliance 
wit^^France, and he was 
ready to leave the Ameri- 
cans and become loyal, if 
he could be assured of the 
safety of his person, and 
be indemnitied for the loss 
of his property. Sir Hen- 
ry Clinton was quite will- 
ing to find out who this 
person of some conse- 
quence might be. 

"You will please an- 
swer that under a dis- 
guised hand and an as- 
sumed name," were his in- 
structions to his adjutant- 
general. Major John An- 
dre; and the major wrote a reply, inviting further correspondence, and 
signed the letter John Anderson — John Andrews own; and so it came 
about that, during the winter of 1779 -'80, there was a correspondence 
between Mr. Gustavus, of Philadelphia, and John Anderson, merchant, 
of IS^ew York. 

Sir Henry Clinton had a suspicion that Mr. Gustavus was General 
Arnold, for the court which had investigated the charges against Arnold 
had condemned him to be reprimanded for oppressing the people of Phil- 
adelphia, and other irregularities. Arnold expected to be triumphantly 




vindicated, and it was terribly galling to his proud spirit to be conducted 
into the presence of Genei-al Washington and receive a reprimand. He 
bore it with becoming acquiescence, however, and renewed his profes- 
sions of loyalty to the patriot cause. He would still serve his country. 
Little does General Washington know of the thoughts that are combing 
tlirouD:h the brain of General Arnold as he stands before the commander- 
in-chief and the officers of the court. 

"One may smile, and smile, and be a villain." 

What he is thinking of we shall perhaps see by-and-by. 

Months pass. Summer comes. General Arnold is a patriot. He has 
not allowed the rejection of his claim by Congress, nor the finding of 
the court-martial, to dampen his ardor for his country. The time has 
come for active operations ; but his wound received at Saratoga will not 
permit him to ride horseback. He would like to be reinstated in com- 
mand as major-general. He could command at West Point. General 
Washington would like to have him command the right wing of the army, 
but General Arnold declines the honor on account of his wound, and so 
is appointed to command the impregnable and all -important fortress at 
West Point, w^here all the powder is stored — the stronghold protecting the 
Hudson, and which the whole British army can not capture. 

Sir Henry Clinton was still receiving letters from Mr. Gustavus, wha 
was no longer in Philadelphia, but somewhere up the Hudson. Mr. Gus- 
tavus was in the mercantile line. He had something to sell, and wr(5te 
about tobacco and dry goods. His letters were addressed to " Mr. John 
Anderson, Merchant, to the care of James Osberne, to be left at the Kev- 
erend Mr. Odell's, Kew York." 

Mr. Gustavus was a man of consequence now.- He had something be- 
sides his influence to sell. He could turn over a fortress, with one hun- 
dred cannon, powder, balls, provisions ; and, with the fortress, he could sell 
an army, a nation. 

On the 31st of August, a boat sailed down the Hudson, with a white 
flag fluttering in the breeze. There was a gentleman on board the boat 
by the name of Heron, a member of the Connecticut Legislature. He 
carried a package bf letters, and among them one for John Anderson, mer- 
chant. Mr. Heron did not know who wrote it, nor what was in it ; but 
Mr. Heron had a talk with Sir Henry Clinton, and informed him that he, 
though a member of the Connecticut Legislature, was dissatisfied with 
Congress, and that the rebellion would soon come to an end through its 



On that same day, in the afternoon, a ship sailed down the Narrows 
for England, w^ith Colonel Dalrjmple on board, and other officers of the 
English army. They carried information too importaijt to be put on pa- 
per, which they would whisper in private to Lord North, and be taken by 
him into the royal closet, where they would whisper it to the king, that a 
British fleet would go up the Hudson with troops, and capture West Point. 

A plan was being arranged 
under which it would im- 
mediately fall into the 
hands of the British. Be- 
fore Wasliington was aware 
of it, the rebellion would 
be crushed, and Washing- 
ton's army scattered to the 
winds, or else captured, and 
the French also. 

The ship arrived in En- 
gland, and a day or two 
hiter it was known in Lon- 
don tliat the rebellion was 
soon to receive its finishing 

Mr. Gustavus, up tlie 
Hudson, was ready to do 
some trading with Mr. John 
Anderson, merchant, of 
New York. Thus far they 
had carried on the negotia- 
tions about tobacco and dry 
goods by correspondence, 
but it was desirable to have 
a private interview. Mr. Gustavus was living with a young and beautiful 
wife and their young babe, in Colonel Beverly Robinson's house, nestled 
on the east bank of the Hudson, just below West Point. Colonel Bev- 
erly Hobinson was a loyal subject of the king, holding a commission, and 
knew Mr. Gustavus personally, and was selected to arrange a meeting. 

Colonel Sheldon, commanding the cavalry in Westchester County, re- 
ceived ajetter from New York written by John Anderson : 

"New York, September 7th, 1780. 

"SiE, — I am told my name is made known to you, and that I may 






hope your indulgence in permitting me to go out with a flag, which will 
be sent to Dobbs's Ferry, Sunday 
next, the 11th, at 12 o'clock, when 

I shall be happy to meet Mr. G . 

'•John Andeeson." 

Colonel Sheldon never had 
heard of John Anderson, and did 
not quite know what to make of it. 
He sent the letter to General Ar- 

" If a man by the name of John / 
Anderson comes to the lines, send 
me word by express, and bring him 
to head-quarters," were Arnold's in- 

Sunday came. There was to be a meeting on this da}^ on the east 
shore of the Hudson, near Dobbs's Ferry. No church bell would ring, 
there would be no crowd of worshipers, no preaching or praying, no min- 
ister; but Mr. Gustavus would meet Mr. John Anderson and talk over a 
little trade they had in hand. 

On Saturday night General Arnold went down the river from Robin- 
son's house, and spent the night at the house of Mr. Joshua Smith, at 
Long Clove, two miles above Haverstraw. He intended to cross to the 
east side of the river in the morning, to the neutral ground, between the 
outposts of his own lines and those of Sir Henry Clinton. Possibly he 
would meet somebody from New York there. He had heard that Mr. 
John Anderson, merchant, of New York, was to be there on Sunday morn- 
ing. Mr. Anderson and Colonel Robinson went np the river on Saturday 
afternoon, but, by some mistake, instead of going to the spot where they 
were to meet Mr. Gustavus, they went on board the Vulture frigate. 

Sunday morning the sailors on the Vidture see a boat coming down 
the Hudson. An American major-general is seated at the stern. The 
boat carries no white flag. It is within cannon-shot, and the sailors ram 
home a shot and let it fly at the boat, which quickly turns about to get 
beyond reach, and so there is no meeting on this Sunday morning between 
Mr. Gustavus and Mr. Anderson on the east bank of the Hudson. Gen- 
eral Arnold goes up the river to the Robinson house, and Major Aiidre 
returns to Sir Henry Clinton, at Kip's house, each wondering how there 
happened to be no meeting. 



Count Eocliambeau had arrived at Newport, in Ehode Island, with a 
French armj, and General Washington was to go eastward to Hartford, to 
meet liiin there and arrange a campaign. 

,.&■: ■- 


Sir Henry Clinton was getting impatient. The importance of obtain- 
ing West Point grew npon him, and he sent Colonel Robinson np the river 
to see what conld be done about it. Colonel Robinson went on board the 
Vulture, and the ship, witli a white flag flying, sailed np the river to Tel- 
ler's Point, and came to anchor. Colonel Robinson delivered a letter to 
Colonel Livingston, in command of the Americans there, addressed to 
General Arnold. The letter was forwarded to Robinson's house. General 
Arnold was at dinner with a company of officers when the servant put the 
letter into his hands. 

'' The enemy have sent Colonel Robinson up the river asking for an 
interview with me," he remarked. 

The second in command at West Point was Colonel Lamb, the man 
who had his jaw shot away by the side of Montgomery, on that fearful 
night at Quebe<3, on the last day of December, 1776. Mr. Lamb was re- 
lated to Colonel Robinson; but he was a true patriot, and Robinson a 

" To grant such a request would be exceedingly impolitic. It would 



give the public ground for suspecting improper connections," was Colonel 
Lamb's outspoken remark. 

General Arnold showed the letter to Gen- 
eral Washington, 

"It is considered highly improper for the 
commander of a post to grant such an inter- 
view. A trustworthy officer may be sent, but 
it is better to have nothing to do with business 
that pertains to the civil authorities." 

General Washington and General Arnold 
ride side by side to Peekskill, and pass the 
night. On the following morning General 
Washington bids Arnold good-bye. They 
never will meet again. The one goes east to Hartford; the other returns 
to the fine old mansion on the banks of the Hudson. 

It would be discourteous not to take notice of the letter sent by Col- 
onel Robinson; for, in war, commanders of armies should pay particular 
regard to any courteous request of an enemy. The messenger who goes 
down to Teller's Point carries this reply : 

" I will send a person in whom you can confide, by water, to meet you 
at Dobbs's Ferry, at the landing east side, on Wednesday the 20th, who- 
will conduct you to a place of safety, where I will meet you." 

The letter is not intended for Colonel Beverly Robinson, but fop John 

In the Kip house, on the 20th of September, Sir Henry Clinton is giv- 
ing his last instructions to his youthful and beloved adjutant-general, who is 
going up the Hudson to transact some important business — the purchasing 
of the strongest fortress in America. The last words are spoken, and the 
light-hearted officer leaves Sir Henry's apartment. Upon the veranda he 
meets Polly Kip, the merry daughter of the host. Major Andre has been 
so long an inmate of the house that he may address her familiarly. He 
stands before her, with his boyish face and pleasant smile, in his handsome 
uniform. Perhaps, as he gazes upon her, his thoughts fly far away over 
the sea to an English home, and he thinks of the days when he so stood 
beioj-'B Honora Sneyd, his true-love, whose portrait, painted by himself, is 
this moment inclosed in a locket upon his neck. Alas! she is the wife of 
anothei, and never again w'ill he clasp Her to his heart. He beholds the 
fair, f ,esh countenance of the light-hearted Dutch girl. 

" Come, Polly, I am going up the river. We are old friends ; kiss me 



" Oh, you be hanged !" 

Polly will not give such a favor — not even to Sir Henry Clinton's 
young and brilliant and good adjutant -general. Little does Polly Kip, 

little does Major Andre, think the 
words spoken in jest may be pro- 
phetic of impending doom. 

John Anderson is sailing up the 
Hudson with wind and tide in his 
favor. He does not land at Teller's 
Point, but goes on board the Vult- 
xire^ and spends the night. 

Antumn has come. The apples 
are ripening, and an old farmer on 
the east side of the Hudson, near 

Teller's Point, is making cider. A 
party of American militia are drink- 
ing and carousing around the press, 
and the farmer, to get rid of them, 
informs tliem that the Vulture has 
come up tlie river, and is at anchor 
just off the point. 

" You had better go down and bother the British, than to stay here 
and bother me," he says. 

It is a good suggestion. The young men think that they will take a 
look at the Vulture. They are ready for a lark. How would it do to 
hang out a white flag and toll a boat out from the Vulture., get it with- 
in gun-shot, and then give a volley? The bumpkins know little of the 
rules of war, and care less. It will be a capital joke, and so they hang 
out a white cloth. 

Mr. John Anderson and Colonel Beverly Pobinson see it. That is the 
place where they are to meet a messenger from General Arnold. Captain 
Sutherland, commander of the Vulture^ sends a boat to see about the white 
flag ; but as the boat nears the shore suddenly there is a cracking of rifles, 
and the bullets splash the water or splinter the boat. It is treachery un- 
heard of, a violation of all the rules of warfare, and the ofiicer i^i ^-"'^- iK-at 
goes back to the Vulture boiling over with wrath; and the c ■ lie 

ship, hot with anger, sends a letter to General Arnold, want ■>v 

the meaning of such treachery, and John Anderson begins t t 

he has been made a fool of. Twice he has failed of meeting \i 
The trustworthy man whom General Arnold had selected i 



John Anderson and conduct him to a place of safety was Mr. Joshua Smith, 
owner of the house at Long Clove, on the west side of the Hudson, just 
above Haverstraw. Mr. Smith was a Whig — at least he claimed to be 
one. He was an intelligent man, and owned a large farm. His brother 
was a Tory, and was in New York with General Clinton ; and some of 
Mr. Smith's Whig neighbors w^ere quite confident that Mr. Smith at Long 
Clove kept Judge Smith informed of all that was going on up river, and 
that what Judge Smith knew Sir Henry Clinton knew. General Arnold 
came to the conclusion that Mr. Smith was just the man to meet Mr. John 
Anderson, and bring him to a place where he could confer w^ith him on 
important public matters. 

Would Mr. Smith be willing to send his family away for a few days ? 
The matter was of a nature which General Arnold wished to keep from 
the public, and Mr. Smith was ever ready to do what he could for his 
country, and was ready to oblige General Arnold, and so carried his wife 
and children up the river to Fishkill on a visit, and the house was at the 
service of General Arnold. 

General Arnold came down the river to Mr. Smith's house. Would 
Mr. Smith be kind enough to go down the river in the night to the Vult- 
ure, and bring a Mr. John Anderson, merchant, of New York, to a point 
on the shore below Haverstraw ? General Arnold would supply him with 
passes. He might go in the day-time by flag of truce, but it was better 
to do it in the night. Mr. Smith had some hesitation about going in the 
night, but it was at the request of a major-general of the American army, 
who had fought gallantly in Canada and at Saratoga; it was a matter of 
great public importance, and he could not refuse. He obtained two boat- 
men, Samuel and Joseph Colquhoun, two of his tenants, and in the dark- 
ness they leave Long Clove, and go down past Haverstraw to the Vulture. 
The sentinel on board the Vulture hails them. They are friends, with 
passes from General Arnold. Mr. John Anderson steps on board, and 
they pull to the shore. In the darkness, the boatmen and Mr. Smith can 
only see that he is a young man, wrapped in a blue cloak. 

The boat reaches the land. Mr. Smith climbs the bank, and finds Gen- 
eral Arnold standing beneath the dark and glojomy fir-trees at the foot of 
the palisades. Mr. John Anderson — for such is the gentleman's name, as 
Mr. Smith understands — steps upon the land and meets General Arnold, 
and the two move away a little d stance. 

No lisp of their conversation is heard by Smith or the boatmen. Hour 
after hour passes. The morning dawns. The bargain is not completed, 
but it is quite time that Mr. John Anderson should be on his way back to 




the ship. He is ready, but the boatmen are not. They have had a long 
pull ; their arms ache. Besides, Samuel and Joseph Colqnhonn are Whigs. 
They are simple-hearted men. They did not wish to go to the Vulture at 
the outset, and they will not make a second trip. The sentinel challenged 
them roughly ; the officer on the deck of the Yultui^e was rude to them ; 
the sailors chaffed them. They do not care to be chaffed a second time. 
Possibly their neighbors will ask them what they went for. Possibly they 
liave a little distrust of this midnight meeting, although General Arnold, 
commander at West Point, is one of the parties. 

Mr. John Anderson is anxions to be off. General Arnold wishes them 
to go ; Mr. Smith importunes them. 

" No, our arms ache. Besides, Colonel Livingston, who is in command 



over on the east side at Teller's Point, is going to cannonade the Yultuve 
in tlie rnorniDg," say the boatmen to Mr. Smith, who reports their answer 
to Mr. John Anderson. 

"Oh, they can reach the ship,. and get out of the way before the can- 
nonade begins ; and the flag that carried them to tlie ship will protect 
them on their return," says Mr. Anderson. 

But the boatmen will not- go. Day is breaking. Up in the woods 
Mr. Smith's negro servant is waiting. He followed General Arnold from 



Wi'M-uX- ' 


Smith's house, and is holding General Arnold's horse, and the horse which 
he himself rode. The business which Mr. Anderson has in hand is not 
quite completed, and it will be best for him to mount the negro's horse 
and ride with General Arnold up to Mr. Smith's, beyond Haverstraw. 
They mount the steeds and ride away, and the boatmen and Mr. Smith 
and the negro glide along the western shore of the river, reaching Mr. 
Smith's house almost as quickly as the riders. 

318 THE BOYS OF 76. 

The roar of a cannon breaks npon the morning air. Colonel Living- 
ston has begun, and the balls go plump into the sides of the Vidture, at 
anchor near the month of the Croton Kiver. John Anderson hears the 
uproar, looks out of the window, and sees the Vultwe spreading her white 
wings to the morning breeze and sailing away. He feels a sinking of 
heart. What would he not give at that moment to be on board ! 

General x\rnold and tlie merchant breakfast together. Arnold is very 
careful to address him as Mr. Anderson. After breakfast they go into a 
chamber, and General Arnold shows him a paper — a plan of West Point. 
They talk about money, about troops being placed in particular localities 
on a particular night in squads, where they might run a chance of being 
captured, if a British force were suddenly to appear. General Arnold 
says that a link has been taken out of the great iron chain, and that, if a 
British fleet should happen to get past the fort, the sailors could quickly 
separate the boom, and the two ends would swing round against the 
shores. If a British army should happen to be marching some night up 
toward West Point, it would be an easy matter for some of the officers, 
dressed in American uniform, to gallop into the fort and see how the 
troops were situated. They could do it very easily if they had the coun- 
tersign ; and as General xVrnold knows what the countersign is to be, he 
will just whisper it to Mr. Anderson. 

This is the 22d of September, and on the 2Gth, at midnight, a British 
army will be marching to surprise the garrison at West Point. 

It was ten o'clock in the forenoon when General Arnold got through 
his business with Mr. John Anderson. He left some papers with Mr. An- 
derson, bid him good-bye, stepped into his barge, and the rowers pulled 
up stream to the Eobinson house. Mr. Anderson looks at the papers, pulls 
off his boots, and puts the papers inside of his stockings. He hardly knows 
why, only General Arnold suo:crested it. He mio^ht carry all there is on 
the papers in his head ; but perhaps they will be of value to Sir Henry 
Clinton. It would be better for him if he were to burn the papei-s. The 
ashes would tell no tale. It would have been better if he had held a white 
flag in his hand when he came on shore last night, even if no one saw it in 
the darkness. 

Through the day Mr. Anderson remains at Mr. Smith's house. He 
looks out of the window and views the landscape. Evening comes. Just 
as twilight is fading away, Mr. Smith and a stranger ride down to King's 
Ferry. The ferry-man is w^ell acquainted with Mr. Smith. 

" We are on our way up river," Mr. Smith remarks to the ferry-man. 
The strano^er with Mr. Smith is a nice-lookins; youno^ man, dressed in a 



beaver hat a little the worse for wear, a plnm-colored coat trimmed with 
tarnished gold lace, nankeen small-clothes, and white-topped boots. Good 
boots they are. Over all 
is a blue cloak with a 
heavy cape. They cross 
the river. Mr. Smith and 
Mr. Anderson mount their 
horses, with a negro serv- 
ant following, for Mr. 
Smith is a man of conse- 

They gallop np the 
road leading toward West 
Point, away from ISTew 

-r- , P ,1 -rr- 7, VIEAV FROM S3IITH's HOUSE. 

1 ork, away rrom the Vult- 
ure. They come to a road turning off to the right hand. A guide-board, 
standing at the junction, with an arrow pointing down the road over which 
they have ridden, has this direction : 

'^Dish his di Rode 
tu de Kishnigs FarryT 

Mr. Smith wishes to ride toward New York, but he has informed the 
feny-man that he is going '' up along," and it will not do to turn to the 
right here ; they ride on two miles farther, and then turn south-east. A 
sentinel halts them, but they have passes. • Captain Boyd, in command of 
the sentinels, examines the passes : 

" Head- quarters, Robinson House, September 22d, 1780. 

"Joshua Smith has permission to pass the guards to White Plains and 
to return, he being on public business by my direction. 

"B. Arnold, Major-general^ 

"Head-quarters, Robinson House, September 22d, 1780. 

" Permit Mr. John Anderson to pass to the White Plains, or below, if 
he chooses, he being on public business by my direction. 

"B. Aenold, Ilajor-generair 

"The passes are all right. The best road is by Xorth Castle. The 



Tarrytown road is infested by Cow-boys, and you had better uot attempt 
to get on to-night," says Captain Boyd. 

Mr. Smith thought it prudent advice, and halted at a farm-house till 

John Anderson and Mr. Smith were np by day-break on the morning 
of the 23d of September. Mr. Anderson had not been asleep. He had a 
haggard look, and had grown old. Mr. Smith and Mr. Anderson wonld 
not stop for breakfast, but before sunrise were galloping southward on 
important public business; and ]\[r. Smith was ignorant as to what that 



business might be. He may have had a suspicion that something not quite 
right was going on ; but General Arnold had not enlightened him in re- 
2:ard to it. 

Twelve miles, and they halted for breakfast. It was at a small house. 
The Cow-boys had been there during the night and robbed the lone female 
occupant of almost every thing. She could only give them some hasty- 
pudding, which the Dutch called soupaan. Curious that this same John 
Anderson should have written, a few weeks before, a poem called " The 
Cow Chase," in which he had ridiculed the men who, while fighting for 
their liberty, could get nothing but water and hasty-pudding. These were 
his lines : 


"For many heroes bold and brave, 
From New Bridge and Tapaan, 
And those that drink Passaick's wave, * 

And those that eat soupaan." 

'•I must bid yon good-bje here/' Mr. Smith said, while eating his 

They were close to tlie Croton Eiver. Mr. Anderson would find nc 
sentmel beyond that. He would be on neutral ground. If he were to 
fall in either with the Cow-boys or the Skinners, Mr. Smith would be of 
no service to him. Tlie Cow-boys were a set of rascals who shouted " God 
save the king!" but who plundered every body. The Skinners were an- 


other set of ruffians who shonted " Hurra for Congress !" but who plun- 
dered all they met. Sometimes the Cow-boys and Skinners joined their 
forces, and made raids among the farmers, drove off their cattle, and rob- 
bed them of their provisions. Besides these, there were bands of militia, 
composed of the farmers, who joined together to protect themselves from 
the Cow-boys, the Skinners, and the British. If Mr. Anderson were to 
fall in with either party he would get along just as well alone as with Mr. 




Smith. Thej bade each other good-bye. Mr. Smith and his negro serv- 
ant rode to the Robinson house, where Mr. Smith sat down to General 
Arnold's table to dinner, and informed General Arnold that Mr. Ander- 
son was well on his way to the British lines. The general was well satis- 
fied with what Mr. Smith had done! 

Mr. Anderson pursues his solitary way. He comes to two roads, one 
leading to Tarrytown, the other farther east; but both leading toward New 
York. Which shall he take? 

Is it that the right-hand road will take liim down through Sleepy Hol- 


low, where a little brook winds down 

from the hills, and where the little 

old Dutch church is standing ? There 

are delightful legends about Sleepy 

Hollow. It was there that Ichabod 

Crane, the tall, lean, and awkward 

school - master, fell in love with Ka- 

trina Yan Tassel, sung with her in the old church, sat in her father's 

kitchen during the long evenings, looking into her eyes, and thinking how 



delightful it would be to have Katriiia forever by his side in a kitchen of 
their own. Going by the way of Sleepy Hollow, John Anderson would 
cross the bridge by the old mill, where the ghostly horseman, enveloped 
in a cloak, on a fiery steed, carrying his head on the pommel of the sad- 
dle instead of on his shoulders, chased the school -master and threw his 
head at him, and so frightened Ichabod that he lied from Sleepy Hollow, 
and left Katrina to be married to his rival, Brom Bones. 

There are other delightful stories of the place ; but John Anderson is 
not thinking of legends. He is thinking, rather, of how soon he shall 
come across a British sentinel. Is there any reason why he should take 
the right-hand road rather than the left ? . No, for the distance by one is 
no greater than the other, and both are equally safe. 

He turns to the right. Oh, if he had but taken the left ! He goes to 
his destiny, and with him goes the destiny of a nation. 

Mr. Anderson is thirsty, and asks for a drink of water at Mr. Ham- 
mond's farm-house, and the little Hammond boy, who holds his bay horse 
by the rein, notices that it is a good horse, but that there are burrs in its 
mane and tail, that the rider wears a plum-colored, silver-laced coat, and 
nice boots. 


324 THE BOYS OF 76. 

" How far -is it to TaiTjtowii, my lad ?" ^ 

" Four miles." . | 

"Fom- miles! I did not think it so far." 

His is a pleasant voice. The traveler rides on, and meets some Quaker 

" Friends, are there any troops ont below ?" • 

The men wearing bruad-brinimed hats have seen none. 

Mr. Anderson meets a man on horseback, an American officer. His 
hair stands on end ; his heart leaps into his mouth. It is an offices* 
wliom he knows, and who knows him — Colonel Samuel P. Webb. They 
stare at each other, and pass on. He has now reached the Hudson. A 
little farther, and he will meet British sentinels. He is light-hearted 
once more. 

The ti-aveler has reached Sleejw Hollow. Tiie air is still on this sweet 
September day. He hears the water falling over the dam by thp mill ; he 
can see the little old church, and before him is the bridge where the ghost- 
ly horseman threw his head at Ichabod Crane. 

Beyond it, on the south side of the stream, is a wood of oak, and chest- 
nuts, and alders, and matted grape-vines. Three young men are seated 
in the bushes beneath the vines. They have been there but a little while, 
but, having been out all night, have sat dowii to rest, and are playing 
cards. There are four other men on a hill at a little distance, lookincr 
toward Tarrytown to see if the British down below are making any move- 
ments. They do not belong to the arjny, but call themselves militia. The 
officer up at Salem has given them liberty to come down toward Tarry- 
town to see what they can discover, and to punish the Cow boys, if they 
can get an opportunity. 

One of the men under the grape-vines is John Paulding. He is only 
twentv-one vears old; he is six feet hi^-h. Twice has he been arrested 
and taken to Xew York a prisoner. He obtained the uniform which he 
is now wearing from a German Yager, and made his escape ; and here he 
is with his rifle, on the lookout for somebody on whom he can make re- 

David Williams, another of the three, marched to Canada under Gen- 
eral Montgomery. He has nothing to do now, and is working for his 
board for whomsoever will employ him, and his food consists principally 
of johnny-cake. 

Isaac Yan Wart lives up by Pine Kidge. But here are the three. 
They hear the sound of a horse's hoofs. One is engaged in shuffling the 


" There comes a trader, going to ]N"ew York,"-sajs Yau Wart. 

"He^is a gentlemanly - looking mantis well dressed, and has top- 
boots on. Hadn't you better stop him f says Williams to Paulding, the 

All three spring to their feet, In d seize their rifles. 


It is the command of the man who has been twice a prisoner. The 
traveler reins in his horse. 
' "Where are you going?" 

"My lads, I hope you belong to our party." 

" Which party is that ?" 

What shall tl:^ traveler say ? He is close to Tarry town. He is going- 
south. Of course, these are Cow-boys, or else British soldiers in disguise. 
One wears a Yager uniform. It will not do to hesitate. 

" The lower party." « 

" So do we." 

The youthful heart beneath that plum -colored coat bounds with ex- 

" Thank God, I am once more among friends !" 

How strange and wonderful that in these words lie the destiny of a 
nation and the future history of a continent ! 

" I am glad to see you. I am a British officer, out of the country on 
particular business, and I hope you won't detain me a moment." 

He pulls his gold watch from his pocket. Better have left it in the 

" You are our prisoner," says Paulding. 

" Ha ! ha ! Here is General Arnold's pass !" The traveler pulls the 
pass written by Arnold from his pocket. " My God ! I must do any thing 
to get along," he says in a low voice to himself. . 

The man in the Yager uniform reads it. 

"Had you shown this first, I would have let you go, but now I must 
examine you. Dismount !" 

It is a peremptory order, and John Anderson, so near the British lines, 
and yet at this moment farther from them than ever, is led to the road- 
side, to the shelter of a gigantic tree. 

" You will bring dowii the displeasure of General Arnold by doubting 
me." ^ 

" We must search you." 

" I have no papers. You will bring yourselves into trouble." 

"Take off your cloak!" 



His cloak is laid aside, and tlie plum-colored coat. There is a British 

uniform beneath it. « 


" Let ns see your boots !" 

They find nothing in his boots. How about his stockings? 

" Here is something I" Paulding's hsfiid is npon the fatal paper. 

Ah ! Why did he take that paper in Benedict Arnold's handwriting ? 
What good could it do him ! He could have remembered it all. Fatal 
mistake ! Three half-sheets. 



"West Point" is written on the outer sheet. Paulding uses wicked 
words at times. 

'*' By God, he is a spy ! Where did you obtain these papers ?" 

'No answer. 

"What will you give us to let you go?" 'Yan Wart asks. 


"All that I have, and a hundred guineas, and any quantity of goods." 

" I won't release him for ten thousand guineas," says Paulding, with 
an oath. 

" Will you escape if we give you an opportunity V 

" Of course I will." 

•' Then we will not let you." 

" Take me to the nearest American camp," says John Anderson. He 
will talk no more. 

It was twelve miles to the nearest American outpost, at Xorth Castle, 
where John Anderson was delivered by his captors to Colonel Jameson, 
who examined the papers found in Anderson's stockings. 

" Will you please inform General Ai-nold that John Anderson, with a 
pass signed by him, has been arrested ?" said the prisoner. 

It was Colonel Jameson's duty to report the arrest to General Arnold, 
and he concluded that he migl^ as well send John Anderson at once -to 
head-quarters, and transmit the papers to General Washington. Lieutenant 
Allen, with four soldiers of the Continental militia, was ready to start 
with John Anderson for West Point. 

A company of cavalry on dapple-gray horses, under Major Tallmadge, 
came galloping up. Major Tallmadge was appointed by Washington to 
guard this section from the depredations of the Cow-boys and Skinners, 
and to carry on a secret correspondence with spies in Xew York. His 
troops wear glittering helmets with horse-tail plumes, and have bear-skin 
holsters manufactured in France. They have been out on a scout. 

Tallmadge was a young man only twenty-six years old, but his was an 
old head on young shoulders. 

"A man. was arrested," said Colonel Jameson, "down n.ear Tarrytown 
this morning. He had a pass from General Arnold, and was going towai d 
jN^ew York. He had some papers in his 
stockings stating the number of guns at West 
Point, the number of soldiers, and where they 
are posted. His name is John Anderson, and 
I have just sent him to West Point to Gen- 
erald Arnold, and dispatched the papers to 

Major Tallmadge listened intently. He 
remembered that a few weeks before Colonel 
Sheldon had received a letter written in New 
York by John Anderson, who was to be 
taken to Arnold's hoad-quarters. And now major tallmadge. 

328 THE BOYS OF 76. 

John Anderson liad been arrested going toward New York with important 
papers on his person. What was tlie meaning of it? General Arnold 
was in correspondence with the enemy. The papers found on John An- 
derson were in Arnold's handwriting. Major Talhnadge turned the mat- 
ter over in In's mind. " General Arnold is a traitor !" he exclaimed. Tliat 
was the concUision he arrived at. 
^ '^That can not be,'^ said Colonel Jameson, astonished at the suggestion. 

"'You ought not to let Arnold know of it." 

" It is mj duty. He is my superioi*, in command of the department." 

" I will take all the blame if you will send a man to bring Anderson 

Colonel Jameson could not believe that Arnold was a traitor, but con 
eluded to have xVnderson brought back. 

Early in the morning Anderson is sent to Colonel Sheldon's liead-quar- 
ters at South Salem. Lieutenant King ]i«s charge of him, and walks with 
him in the yard in front of the house. He is an affable gentleman, and 
soon wins the confidence of John Anderson. 

" I must make a confidant of somebody. John Anderson is not my 
name. I am Major John Andre, Adjutant-general of the British army." 

The prisoner breathes more freely now. 

" The ]mpei-s found on you have been sent to General Washington, and 
he, and not General Arnold, will decide what shall be done with you," is 
the information imparted to Major Andre. 

Paper and ink are supplied him, and he writes a full and frank letter 
to Greneral Washington, claiming that he is not a spy. . Against his inten- 
tion liQ was conducted inside of the American lines. He came in his 
British, uniform. He signed the letter John Andre, Adjutant -general, 
and an ofHcer started with it in search of General Washington. 

Washington is at Fishkill, on his way west from Hartford. He meets 
the French envoy, M. De Luzerne, who has just come from General Ar- 
nold's head-quarters, and is on his way east. They stop at Fishkill for 
dinner, and one of the guests at the table is Mr. Joshua Smith, who, after 
escorting Mr. John Anderson to the Croton River, has ridden up there to 
get his famih^ ; General Arnold having no further use for his house, his 
important public business having all been transacted. 

.General Washington having returned from Hartford by the ujjjper 
road, and Colonel Jameson's messenger having gone to Hartford by the 
loioer road, the former has heard nothing in rega "" ■ " "^'^3 arrest of one 
John Anderson; and for the same reason Major .■'■■. , letter has not 
come into the American commander's hands. 



Ml". Smith sits at the table, ignorant that Mr. John Anderson has been 
arrested, ignorant that John Andre and John Anderson are one and the 
same person. 

The sweet, sad season of the year has come. The changing foliage is 
bright with autumnal hues. General Arnold and his young wife are at 
the Robinson House. A sentinel, on the morning of the 25th of Sep- 
tember, is pacing his beat before the door. From West Point comes the 
roll of the morning drum. Only once more will the drummer beat it 
there beneath the Stars and Stripes. To-morrow night the cross of St. 
George will float above the ramparts, and the Stars and Stripes will soon 
be seen no more on tlie Western continent. The flag will be heard of no 
more, except in history, as the flag of the rebels, wlio were subdued by 
the valor of the British troops, and by the defection of one of the most 
trusted and popular American officers. Such may have been the thoughts 
that flashed through the brain of Major-general Arnold, as he listened to 
that morning's reveille. 

Early in the morning, a light traveling -wagon drives into the door- 
yard. It is General Washington's baggage van, and the officer in charge 
has the pleasure of presenting the compliments of General Washington 
and the Marquis de Lafayette, who, with their suites, w^ill do themselves 
the honor of breakfasting at the Robinson house. A little later the mar- 
quis rides up to the door 
with his suite and other 

General Washington 
has turned aside to exam- 
ine the fortifications by 
the river, and begs that 
Mrs. Arnold will not delay 
breakfast on his account. 

The breakfast -table is 
spread in the large room. It is a low apartment with wainscoted walls 
and great beams overhead. The beautiful young wife presides with 
charming grace at the table. 

A horseman rides into the yard and halts beneath the cherry-trees- 
Lieutenant Allen. He comes from Colonel Jameson, and has a letter for 
General Arnold. , Colonel Jameson has deemed it his duty to report to his 
superior the capture of a man by the name of John Anderson, and to state 
that the papers upon him have been forwarded to General Washington. 
General Arnold breaks the seal, and reads the letter at the table. He is a 


330 THE BOYS OF 76. 

little embarrassed ; hut the conversation goes on, and General Arnold takes 
part in it for a few minutes. 

'' Excuse me, gentlemen ; I have sonie business that will require 
my attention a few moments. Please make yourselves at home mean- 

He leaves the room and calls one of his aids : " Have the barge ready 
instantly. I must cross to West Point without delay. Order the coxswain 
and crew at once." 

He, calls Lieutenant Allen aside: "You must not mention to any one 
that you have brought a letter from Colonel Jameson." 

He spoke to the hostler : " Bring a horse, quick. Any horse — a wagon- 
horse, even !" 

His orders are peremptory, and the men move quickly to obey. 

The guests are eating alone, for the young wife, accustomed to all her 
husband's moods, sees that something unusual has occurred. She excuses 
herself, rises from the table, and passes into her chamber. 

One of his aid's horses is at the door. The coxswain of the barge, Mr. 
Larvey, is mustering the crew. General Arnold meets his young wife in 
her chamber. He kisses their babe. 

" We must part at once, and perhaps forever." 

The loving arms that clasp his neck unclose, and with a wild outcry 
she swoons upon the floor. 

''Take care of her," he says to the chamber-maid, that moment enter- 
ino:. He descends to the breakfast-room. 

" I beg 3^our indulgence, gentlemen ; but Mrs. Arnold has been seized 
with sudden illness," he says to the Marquis Lafayette and the other 
officers, still sitting at the table. He seizes his holster, with pistol 
and powder-flask, leaps into the saddle, and dashes down the hill to the 

" Take your places !" He shouts it to the oarsmen standing on the 
shore, leaps from the horse, springs into the barge. 

" Push off !" 

The barge glides from the shore. 

" I am going to the Vulture with a flag of truce, and must get there as 
quick as I can, and back again to meet Washington. You shall have two 
gallons of rum, my boys, when ^^ou get back." 

It is eighteen miles to the Vulture — a long pull ; but swiftly the boat 
glides down the stream, and while on- their way Major-general Arnold ex- 
amines his pistols, re-primes them, cocks and uncocks them, and conducts 
himself as the barge-men never have seen him before. 



Colonel Livingston is still at Teller's Point. He sees the barge of 
General Arnold moving swiftly down stream, General Arnold himself 
holdino- the white flag — his pocket-handkerchief tied to a cane. What 
is the meaning of it ? A major-general never goes with a flag of truce. 
Colonel Livingston will go out and see the meaning of such a procedure ; 
but before he can summon his rowers, the barge is along-side the Vtdttire, 
still lying at anchor in the river, but beyond the reach of Livingston's 

Miii^'-i-.,., '■"" 


General Arnold unties the handkerchief, and with it wipes away the 
great beads of sweat upon his brow. He climbs the side of the ship. 
Colonel Beverly Robinson is on board : he is there waiting for Mr. John 
Anderson, merchant; but the merchant's foot nevermore will press the 



deck of the Vulture. In the cabin, to Kobiiison and Captain Suther- 
land, the traitor narrates the story. The plan has failed — Andre is a 
prisoner ; but Arnold has escaped, to enter the king's service. He goes 
upon the deck, and calls the coxswain, Larvey, and the crew on board. 

"You must enter the king's service, or I shall detain you as prison- 
ers," he says. 

Tlie malignity and hate so long smothered has taken fire, and this is 
its first outburst. 

"If General Arnold likes the Kin^; of Eno-land, let him serve him. 
We love our country^ and intend to live or die in sujjport of her 
GCiuse^'' are the words of the coxswain. Glorious Larvey ! Words that 
shall never die. A century has passed since they were uttered, but how 
thrilling to read them I Six of the boat's crew swear tlieir allegiance to 

Captain Sutherland turns with contempt from Arnold. He will not 
interfere, however, with Arnold's orders, and the heroes are prisoners for 
the time being. They are taken to New York, but are at once released 
OM parole by Sir Henry Clinton. 

General Washington and the ofiicers of the army had not forgotten 
how the brave man from Connecticut, Nathan Hale, was executed, with- 
out trial, as a spy ; but not so should Major Andre suffer. He was tried 
by court-martial, found guilty, and condemned to die. The day before 
his execution, he drew a pretty picture of the Highlands of the Hudson, 
and here it is-: 




The American army was at Tappaii, in New York, and there, in the 
presence of all the soldiers, he was hanged. lie was so kind and genial 
and gifted, that all who knew him loved him. Every kindness was shown 
him, and many of the soldiers shed tears when they saw him die. In En- 
4»'laiid his fate was sorely lamented, and the king caused a monument to be 
erected in Westminster Abbey to his memory; and yet he suffered justly, 
for he was a spy. 


33i THE BOYS OF 76. 



AUGUST IGtli, ITSO, at Camden, ^vas a sad day for the patriots of 
tlie South. There was no army to oppose the British ; but, though 
Gates was defeated, the Whigs living up in the mountains had no inten- 
ftion of yielding. They would still be patriots. The Tories, on the othei- 
hand, joined Cornwallis in large numbers; and Cornwallis concluded to 
raise a Tory army, and also to send a force into the mountains to crush 
out the AVhigs. He dispatched Major Ferguson, of the Seventy-first regi- 
ment, with one hundred and ten regulars and as many more Tories, to 
march up to the mountains, and compel the Whigs to take the oath of 
loyalty, or else harr}^ them out of the country. 

Ferguson started and marched north-west. The Tories flocked to his 
standard, and in a few days he had a force of eleven hundred men, who 
plundered the people, burned their houses, drove off their cattle, and in 
some instances committed brutal murder. 

Men who live among the mountains are always lovers of liberty; and 
the more the Tories plundered and burned, the more the Whigs resolved 
that they would not be subdued. Messengers rode here and there, sum- 
moning the patriots to arms. They answered the summons, and from all 
the mountain glens hastened to the rendezvous. It was harvest -time. 
They could find potatoes and pumpkins and corn rij)ening in the fields, 
and so needed no commissariat, no long train of w^agons. Each man had 
his powder-horn and bullet -pouch filled with ammunition. They could 
make quick marches. At night they could lie down and sleep sweetly 
beneath the evergreen pines. In the woods were deer; and they were all 
true marksmen, and could bring down a buck upon the run. They knew 
that Ferguson was on the march — that in a few days the Tories would be 
burning their houses. 

Colonel Campbell gathered four hundred men from Washington Coun- 
ty ; in Virginia, Colonel Isaac Shelby rallied two hundred and forty ; and 
Colonel John Sevier came with two hundred and forty J^orth Carolinians. 


Colonel M'Dowell came with one hundred and sixty who had fled from 
before Ferguson. Colonel Cleaveland came with three hundred and fifty 
from the counties of Wilkes and Surrey; and Colonel James Williams 
came with four hundred from South Carolina. They met at the Cow- 
pens, near the North Carolina line. Ferguson was about thirty miles 
away, at King's Mountain, on the line between North and SoutlFOarolina, 
fifteen miles east of Broad River. Colonel Campbell was chosen com- 
mander. They had come out to fight, and determined to strike a blow, 
and not wait to receive one. It was resolved that nine hundred of their 
best men should make a forced march, and strike Ferguson unawares, and 
the rest w^ere to follow as rapidly as possible. 

It is after dark, on the 6th of October, when they start. They leave 
the Cowpens, move eastward, cross the Broad River, and push on for 
King's Mountain. They know the roads. The column winds through 
the forests. In the morning, they halt, rest their horses a while, and re- 
sume the march. 

Ferguson is resting securely on the mountain. He knows that the 
Whigs are gathering in the West ; but he is in a strong position, and does 
not expect to be attacked. 

The mountaineers halt within a mile of Ferguson's position. Colonel 
Campbell forms his little army, less in number by two hundred than the 
foe he is seeking. Colonel Campbell's own regiment, with part of Colonel 
Cleaveland's and Colonel Shelby's, takes the right; Colonel Servier, the 
left ; Colonel Williams and the rest of Cleaveland's form the centre. It is 
three o'clock in the afternoon, In this order they move so silently that 
they are within a quarter of a mile of Ferguson before they are discov- 
ered. Colonel Campbell has sent his wings around, as Stark sent his at 
Bennington, to close in upon the enemy, and make the attack from every 

There is a sudden commotion in Ferguson's ranks, a quick springing to 
arms. A moment later, Shelby's and Campbell's regiment are pouring 
their fire into the ranks of the confused Tories. It is in the forest. A 
little brook winds beneath the trees. There are hillocks here and there, 
and sheltered places, from which eacli party may fire upon the other. 

The other regiments hear tlie rattling of the guns, and hasten on. Five 
minutes later, they, too, are engaged. The Tories are astonished at the 
suddenness and fierceness of the attack. They had joined Ferguson, ex- 
pecting to have fine opportunities to plunder their neighbors, and now tliey 
are in battle, and the bullets are pouring in upon them from every quarter. 
Ferguson orders his regulars to charge, and for a moment the mountain- 



eers are driven ; but tliej rally and drive the regulars in turn. The To- 
ries fight witli desperation from behind rocks and trees, and the mount- 
aineers attack with equal courage. If a Tory exposes himself, if he steps 
from behind a tree, bullets come from several directions. The mountain- 
eers are on all sides, and have the advantage. Colonel Ferguson falls, and 
the comfl^and devolves upon Captain Depeyster. He is unaccustomed to 
such a mode of warfare. He can charge an enemy ; but to meet an 
enemy behind rocks and trees is not the way they fight in England. He 
forms a few of his men, to charge and break the line of the Whigs. They 
rush down the mountain side, but from front and flank the bullets come; 
liis men drop, the others turn and flee. But wliither shall they flee ? 
They run north, but find themselves confronted by Colonel Cleaveland. 
They are hemmed in, and there is no escape. Depeyster raises a white 
flag. A shout of triumph goes up from the victors. Xow is the tinie for 
revenge. Down at Waxhaw, Tarleton murdered Buford's men in cold 
blood. No plea for mercy stayed the sword. But no such slaughter shall 
tarnisli this victory of the mountaineers, and the firing ceases. 


[The battle was fonght on the hills, as seen in thQ picture, and the twelve Tories were hanged upon 
the large tree at the right-hand side of the brook. The head-stone at Colonel Fei-guson's grave is seen just 
beyond the tree.] 

Yet among the prisoners are twelve Tories, who have been implacable 
in their hate ; who have plundered the people, burned their houses, and 
hanged all who opposed them; whose hands are red with blood: they 
shall suffer. Eopes are thrown over the branches of a tulip-tree, and 




parties. General Morgan was more than one hundred miles west of Gen- 
eral Greene, close to the xS^orth Carolina line, at a place where the farmers 
who pastured their cattle on the hills brought them up at niglit for milk- 
ing, and it was therefore called the Cowpens. Morgan has about one 
thousand men — all infantry except one hundred and twenty men under 
Colonel Washington. . 

General Cornwallis sees that Greene has divided his army, and. is too 
far away to aid Morgan, and resolves to send Tarleton, with eleven hun- 
dred of his best troops, to crush him at a single blow. At the same time, 
he intends to move with his troops from Winnsborough north, midway be- 
tween the Catawba and Broad rivers, and will cut off Morgan's retreat 
into Korth Carolina, and then move on to invade that State, march north- 
east, get in the rear of Greene, and cut him off from Virginia. 

General Morgan keeps his eyes open. He does not intend to be sur- 
prised. His spies inform him that Tarleton, with eleven hundred men, is 
coming like the wind to crush him. About half of his men are militia. 
He knows that they will be likely to run at the first fire, as they did at 
Camden ; and in the battle which he intends to fight he will fix things so 
that they can not flee with any hope of escaping. He selects his position 
not far from the bank of the river, where there is no ford, and where the 
water is deep. Tarleton will attack him from the front, to drive him 
toward the river. It is in the woods, where there is no under-brush. 
There are no swamps near to which his militia can flee. He posts his 
first line on a ridge of land, and behind it about two hundred feet is 
another higher ridge, on which he establishes his second line. 

There are Tories in Tarleton's ranks, and the hate is bitter between 
"Whig and Tory. Morgan has no cannon. He knows that early in the 
morning Tarleton will make his appearance after a long night's march. 
He considers that Tarleton's men will be weary, while his own will be 

Morning comes, and Morgan is up early. The scouts bring information 
that Tarleton is not far away. Morgan gives his men a hearty breakfast, 
and while they are eating it he passes through the lines and looks at their 

" This is the way to use a bayonet," he says, as he shows a raw soldier 
how to stand a charge. " This is the way to swing the sword," he says 
to a dragoon. " Hold up your heads, boys. Stand your ground till you 
have fired three times, and the day is yours." He believes that by that 
time the militia will not be frightened at the whistling of bullets, and will 
get ovrr the idea of running away. 




Morgan puts his best troops — Howard's Marjlanders, who liave been in 
battle — on the highest ridge in the centre, and his two companies of Virgin- 
ians on the left. The Virginians are 
old soldiers ; some of them fought at 
Monmouth, Brandywine, and German- 
town. On the left he places his rifle- 
men. Lieutenant-colonel Howard has 
command of the line. Out in front 
of their line he places the Georgia 
and North Carolina militia, and in ad- 
vance of them one hundred and twen- 
ty picked men, with rifles, who can 
bring down a squirrel any time from 
the highest trees. Behind the second 
hill he places Colonel Washington with 
his cavalry — out of sight, ready to 
move in an instant. 
Tlie Tories in Tarleton's ranks know the ground. "The woods ^re 
open, and free from swamps. Morgan is about six miles from Broad 
River, close by a creek," they say to Tarleton. Tarleton is delighted. 
Long before the fugitives can reach the creek he will cut them to pieces.* 

" Lay aside your knapsacks, and every thing except your guns and am- 
munition," are Tarleton's orders. He will have his men go into the fight 
so that they can be as light of foot as the Americans, to trample them 
down the moment he gets them upon the run. He does not stop to take 
breakfast. He will finish the little job he has in hand, and eat breakfast 

" File right, and attack the left flank," are Tarleton's orders to the light- 
infantry. He sends a three-pounder to open fire. The light-infantry file 
into position. The Seventh regiment forms in front of Morgan's centre 
with the other three-pounder. He sends fifty di-agoons to the right flank 
and flfty to the left. A battalion and two hundred cavalry are placed in 
a second line. • 

While Tarleton .is forming, Morgan goes along the line. "Be firm — 
keep cool — take good aim. Give two volleys at killing distance, and the 
victory is yours. You of the main line, here on the hill, must not lose 
heart when you see the skirmishers and the militia out in front of you 
fall back. That is a part of the plan. They will draw the fire of the 
British, and then fall back." 

He says this, knowing that the militia will run. He came to '"he Car- 




Another empty saddle — another. 
Another saddle emptied — more — 

oliuians and Georgians. "Let me see — which is most entitled to credit, 
the Georgians or Carolinians? I'll let yoii decide that question here." 
So he encourages them — each to do 
their best. He takes his position on 
the hill where he can overlook all. 

The fifty British dragoons on the 
right and the fifty on the left are ad- 
vancing. They are going to make a 
charge upon each fiank, and double 
up Morgan's line in a twinkling. 
The rifles crack. One saddle emp- 
tied — another — another — another. 
But still the British dragoons come 
on — the militia begin to fall back. 
The British cannon begin to thunder, 
fifteen in all, and the horses are running wild. 

The militia are falling back, but they are not frightened, and the men 
in' line on the hill keep steady ranks, as the militia fall behind them. 
There comes a hurra from the British, who have driven the riflemen and 
skirmishers, and will make quick work of it now. They advance upon 
the run. 

The hill is a sheet of flame, and the British come to a walk. They 
were going to charge bayonet, but conclude to pour in a volley first. 
Three volleys have been fired on each side. The Americans are getting 
used to the whistling of bullets, and they have no thought of running. 
Tarleton is surprised. He did not expect such resistance. " Forward the 
second line," is his order. He will hurl his whole force upon the rebels, 
and smite them down with a sino^le sledge-hammer stroke. 

"I^ow is the time." It is Morgan's order to the cavalry behind the 
hill. Out from the shelter of the sand-hill move the troopers. Through 
the woods they ride, and fall suddenly upon the British dragoons, and put 
them to flight. 

Tarleton's second line is moving upon Howard — swinging out upon 
his right to outflank him. 

"Eight company, change front!" is Howard's order; but the men 
think he has ordered a retreat, and begin to fall back. Howard sees the 
mistake. He will not countermand the order, for the men are not fright- 
ened. He will take a new position. 

Morgan sees the movement, and hastens to the spot. " What are you 
retreating for?" he shouts. 

344 THE BOYS OF 76. 

" Simply a change of position, to protect ray right flank." 

" Are you beaten ?'' 

" Do those men march as if they were beaten ?" 

"Kight! I will ride back and select the best position, and when yon 
reach it face about and let them have it." 

Off to the new spot rides Morgan. 

"Hurra! Hurra!" It is the shout of the British coming upon the 
run. Now they will sweep all before them. 

Colonel Washington is by Morgan's side, 

" They are coming like a mob. Turn and let them have it, and I will 
charge them," he shouts to Howard. 

" Right about face !" 

The retreating men face suddenly about. There is a flash and rattle. 
The British come to a sudden halt. Down from the hill ride the di-a- 
o-oons, with Washino^ton leadinsj them. 

" Give them the bayonet !" It is Howard's shout. Back over the 
ground across which they have just retreated move the Marylanders. Like 
a thunder-bolt, Washington's cavalry sweep on. The British line goes 
down. Some of the soldiers throw away their guns and flee, some are cut 
down by the sword, others hold up their hands and beg for mercy. 

The victory is won ! It is not a half -hour since Tarleton began the 
battle, and now his army is a panic-stricken mob. Eighty killed, one hun- 
dred and fifty wounded, six hundred prisoners, two cannon, eight hundred 
muskets, thirty-five wagons, one hundred cavalry horses — lost in fifteen 

Moro-an has lost twelve killed and sixtv-one wounded. 

"Give them Tarleton's quarter — kill them!" It is the cry of the 
Whigs against the Tories. 

But Morgan will not permit a man to be put to death. Such a victory 
shall not be marred by the slaughter of men after they have sui-rendered. 




ON" the day of the battle of the Cowj^ens, Cornwalhs was thirty miles 
east of that place, between the Broad and Catawba River. It was 
astounding intelligence which a dragoon brought to him on the even- 
ing of the 17th of January. Tarleton defeated ! routed ! Eight hun- 
dred men lost ! Impossible ! But the fugitives were coming in. There 
was no doubt about it. Instead of crushing Morgan, Tarleton, with supe- 
rior numbers, had suffered an ignominious defeat. It was intolerable. 
Cornwallis w^ould quickly punish the rebel general. By marching rapidly 
due north, he could cut off Morgan before that officer, with his prisoners 
and plunder, could reach the Catawba. General Leslie was close at hand, 
advancing from Camden with about one thousand men, and upon his ar- 
rival he would push ahead. 

But over at the Cowpens on that same night General Morgan was 
thinking of what Coi:jiw^allis would be doing. That he w^ould determine 
to rescue the prisoners, was certain. That he could do it, unless Morgan 
stirred himself, was equally clear. 

At midnight Morgan left the battle-field with his exultant army. He 
had two cannon now, and wagons and provisions. The roads were miry; it 
was raining; and he could make only ten miles in twenty-four hours. He 
crossed the Broad River and pushed for the Little Catawba, reached it, and 
crossed with his provisions and baggage. Cornwallis had lost his prey. 
Two days later he reached the ford, chagrined to find that Morgan was in 
advance of him. 

Bitter the disappointment. He would have Morgan yet. " Burn all 
the surplus baggage," is his order, and, to set an example, burns his own. 
He w^ill keep only four wagons, for the sick, for hospital stpres, and ammu- 
nition. He will live on the country and march day and night, to rescue 
the prisoners and punish the rebel commander. 

Morgan is down with rheumatism. His troops need rest; but his scouts 
inform him that Cornwallis is burning his baggage. Morgan comprehends 

' ^^^^^^^ 

34:6 THE BOYS OF 76. 

the meaning of it, and it is high time for him to move. His army is 
smaller than it was. The Georgia and South Carolina militia have re- 
turned to their homes, and the Virginia militia have staid out their time. 

On Cheraw Hill, one hundred miles east of the Cowpens, is Greene's 
camp. Great the rejoicing there at the news of the victory at the Cow- 

" Be ready to march," is Greene's order on the 25th of January. A mes- 
senger hastens northward. He is to ride clear across Xorth Carolina to the 
Virginia lines with this order: " Have boats in readiness, so that the army 
can cross the Dan." Boats in readiness ! What can General Greene, wlio 
is down at Cheraw, want of boats away up there in Virginia, two hundred 
miles away ? But General Greene has looked over the chess-board, and sees 
the kind of move that Cornwallis may make, and it is well to be prepared. 
Another messenger hastens north-west to the Yadkin on a similar errand. 
" Send recruits," is his letter to Governor Thomas Jefferson, of Virginia ; 
also to Governor Thomas Xash, of North Carolina. " Hang on Cornwal- 
lis's rear ; cut off his detachments," is tlie word sent south to the Swamp 
Fox, Francis Marion, who is one day in one place, and hiding in a swamp 
the next, moving so rapidly that the British know not where to put their 
fingers on him. " March north-west to Salisbury," is the word to General 
Huger, whom he places in command of his little force at Cheraw; then 
mounting his horse, with twenty dragoons to accompany him, he strikes 
across the country to join Morgan. 

Morgan is marching north-east, aiming for Salisbury ; while Cornwal- 
lis, being east of him at the outset, is marching nearly north, to intercept 
hi!n before he reaches the Catawba. Eapid the retreat, but swifter the 
pursuit. Morgan reaches the river, sends his baggage and prisoners across, 
and then his little army. Just as the sun goes down, the British, under 
O'Hara, reach the river; but O'Hara does not dare to attempt to cross 
till re -enforcements arrive, and when they come it is evening. Corn- 
wallis decides to let his troops rest till morning, and then he will cross 
and seize his prey. But all night long the rain falls in torrents, and in 
the morning the river is a wild and turbulent stream — too deep to be 

While the rain is pouring, General Greene rides into Morgan's camp. 
He is covered with mud, and weary, but receives a hearty welcome from 

" What is your line of retreat ?" he asks. 

Morgan points it out — still north-east. 

" That w^ill not do ; Cornwallis will overtake you ;" and he selects an- 



other road. He sends a messeDger to Iluger, who is moving toward Salis- 
biirj, to change his route and to make rapid marches. 

The flood goes down almost as rapidly as it rose. The water is still 
deep, but Cornwallis is determined to secure his prey. He is near Beat- 
tie's Ford. Six miles below Beattie's Ford is Cowan's Ford. Cornwallis 
decides to send Lieutenant-colonel Webster to Beattie's Ford, to make a 
feint of crossing, while he steals off at midnight with the main army, to 
cross at Cowan's, and get in rear of Morgan. Needless strategy, for Mor- 
gan has left the river, and is on the march ; but Colonel Davidson, with 
seven hundred ]N"orth Carolina farmers, is at Cowan's, guarding the ford. 
The river is wide, but the British 
wade across it. The farmers fire 
a volley or two, but the British 
greatly outnumber them. Col- 
onel Davidson falls, and they flee 
— most of them to their homes. 
About three hundred retreat to 
Tarrant's tavern, toward Salis- 
bury. They halt at noon. 

Tarleton — more savage and 
blood-thirsty than ever after his 
defeat — thinks to surprise them; 
but they are on the alert, and 
Tarleton has the mortification of 
seeing twelve of his men killed 
and fifteen wounded. There are 
some old men and boys around 
Tarrant's unarmed, but they are Whigs, and, in revenge, his soldiers 
slaughter them indiscriminately. 

Greene is only seven miles away ; a messenger reaches him : " David- 
son is dead. The militia are dispersed. Cornwallis is over the Catawba." 

With a lieavy heart, the commander turns toward Salisbury. He rides 
up to the door of Mr. Steele's tavern. Dr. Bead is there awaiting his ar- 

" What ! alive, general ?" 

" Yes ; tired, hungry, alone, and penniless." 

The hostess is a true-hearted woman. A few minutes later a break- 
fast is ready ; and while he is eating it she places a bag filled with bright 
silver dollars in his hands, saying, " You need them, and I can do without 



Over the mantel hangs a portrait of King George. General Greene, 
with a heart too full for utterance at the devotion of the noble woman, 
turns the portrait to the wall, and writes with his pencil upon the back, 
" Hide thy face. King George, and blush." 

It is fifteen miles to the Yadkin. Greene rides on. The river is hio:h, 
but no matter for that : the messenger whom he sent up this way on the 
25th of January was faithful to his trust, and boats are plying from shore 
to shore. Before night the army is upon the other side of the stream. So, 
then, that forethought about boats was not idle thinking. 

Morning dawns. Cornwallis has been marching all night. He comes 
to the Yadkin. There is the dark rolling river between him and his prey. 
The bird is just beyond his reach. He can only gnash his teeth and can- 


nonade the American camp. His cannoneers can see the top of a log- 
cabin sheltered by a ledge of rocks. Somehow they understand that Gen- 
eral Greene has taken it for his head-quarters. The general is writing dis- 
patches. A cannon-ball passes through the roof, tears up the shingles, 
rattles the splinters upon the table : the general looks up a moment, and 
goes on with his writing. "It will be impossible for Greene to get 
across the Dan," say the spies to Cornwallis ; and the British commander 
resolves to make one more effort to secure his prey. As soon as the river 
falls he will have him'. Northward moves Greene's little army toward 
Guilford, fifty miles distant. " Join me there," is the word to Huger, who 
is forty miles east of Salisbury. 



The roads are frozen at niglit, and knee-deep with mud at midday. The 
streams are swollen, the bridges gone. The men are shoeless, coatless, and 
without blankets. He reaches Guilford, where the troops from Clieraw 
join him on the 9th of February. All together, Greene has only two thou- 
sand and thirty-six men, and CornwalKs is by the Yadkin with three thou- 
sand of his picked troops. He is chafing like a balfled hound. He must 
get at Greene. He marches up the west bank of the Yadkin, thirty miles 
to Hunts ville ; the river is shallow there, and he can ford it. Pie is only 
twenty-five miles from Guilford, due east, and he is nearer than Greene to 
the shallow fords of the Dan. He thinks that Greene has no boats on the 
Dan, and is sure of his prey. 

" It is not prudent to fight if we can avoid it," is what Greene's officers 
in council think, and it is in accordance with Greene's opinion. Then 
there wdll be a race for the Dan. 

Greene has already sent off his heavy baggage, but he must have a 
rear-guard that can move rapidly. Morgan is sick with the rheumatism ; 
and Colonel Williams, the brave-liearted Marylander, is appointed to com- 
mand it. He has all the cavalry under Colonel Humphreys, Howard's in- 
fantry, and the riflemen — seven hundred, in all, of the best men of the lit- 
tle army, as true as steel every one of them. 

It is seventy miles from Guilford Court-house to the Dan. Cornwallis 
is twenty-five miles west, pushing north-east, and Greene is also marching 
north-east. Gi'eene takes the main 
road. Colonel Williams swino^s out 
between the two armies on another 

General O'Hara is in advance, 
with the British cavalry and a body 
of light-infantry, and the van-guard 
of the British and the rear-guard of 
the Americans are constantly ex- 
clianging shots. 

At iBree o'clock every morning 
Williams is on the march, not halt- 
ing till the middle of the forenoon 
for breakfast. A rest of an hour, 
or till the British appear, and then 
the soldiers are on the road again, 
marching thirty miles a day through the mud, making their way with 
bleeding feet. There are snow-squalls; but through the rain and sleet 





and snow, across the swollen streams, the little army pushes on. The 
'.nilitia have deserted. " All but eighty have left me," is Greene's letter 
to Governor Is"ash, of North Carolina. 

February 13th was the third day of the race. Williams was eating 
breakfast when a Whig citizen rode up. " The British van - guard are 
close upon you !" he shouted. 

" Reconnoitre them," said Williams to Captain Armstrong. 

Williams's force moves on, all except Colonel Lee, with a squad of the 
cavalry, who secret themselves in the thick woods. There is a clatter of 
horses' feet, and Armstrong and a little bugler, on a jaded pony, come 


riding in, with a squadron of British cavalry at their heels. The little bu- 
gler, a boy of thirteen, gives himself up; but the next moment a broad- 
sword cleaves his head open, and he falls dead. W 

'' Charge !" The secreted Americans wheel into the road, and eighteen 
of the British are pitched from their saddles, while two Americans only fall 
in the encounter. The leader of the British is Captain Miller, who is 
taken prisoner. 

" You butchered that poor little bugler, you ruffian, and now you shall 
hang for it !" are the quick, hot words of ATOliams. 

" I did not do it. It was a drunken soldier." 



" You could have prevented it." 

The soldiers fix a noose, but the British army is close at hand, and 
there is no time to execute the sentence; they hurry away, keeping fast 
hold of the prisoners. 

-'"/ -£^^ 


All through the day the race goes on. At every little stream the 
Americans, under Williams, wait and give their pursuers a volley. 

Night comes — cold, dark, rainy. Williams sees a fire in the forest. Is 

352 THE BOYS OF 76. 

it possible that Greene has halted to try the wager of battle ? Williams's 
heart sinks within him. It must be that Cornwallis, hj forced marches, 
has got between Greene and the Dan, and a battle, with the odds against 
the Americans, is inevitable. But two days ago Greene was there, and 
halted a few hours, and the fires have been blazing the while. Three 
hours' rest, and Williams is moving. He halts once more for breakfast. 
A hoj-seman rides in from the north. 

" The greater part of our wagons are over the Dan, and the troops are 
crossing," is the word from Greene. 

Hurra ! hurra ! hurra ! So loud the shout that it reaches the ears of 
the British close at hand, and they wonder what it may mean. 

''''Irvdin^s Ferry ^ 5^- o'dook. — All our troops are over, and the stage 
clear. The infantiy will cross here. Major Hardmari has posted his 
party in readiness on this side, and the infantry and artillery'' are posted 
on the other, and I am ready to remain and give you a hearty welcome," 
is the second note from Greene. 

Up to the river march the wearied troops. Into the boats they leap, 
and reach the other shore. 

Safe the army, safe the prisoners, safe the baggage. It has been a 
chase of two hundred miles. Ah ! that was wise forethought, the sending 
of that messenger from Cheraw to the Dan, to secure all the boats on the 

Cornwallis is chagrined. He has burned his baggage, marched two 
hundred miles, his troops are worn out, and he has been defeated and baf- 
fled at every move. There will be a pretty story afloat over in England in 
regard to his being checkmated by a Yankee blacksmith from Rhode Isl- 
and who knows nothing of military science. 





(^OENWALLIS was at Hillsborough, forty miles south of the Dan. It 
-^ was an important town — a place where the Legislature met every 
other year. A majority of the people in that section of the country were 
Tories. Cornwallis raised the royal standard, and called upon all good, 
loyal subjects to rally around it. The Tories were delighted. General 
Greene had been driven out of the State, the loyal cause was in the as- 
cendant. Now that a royal army was there, they would rally and subdue 
the Whigs. Men came to Cornwallis offering to raise companies. He had 
seven offers in a day. His lordship was delighted. Greene had escaped 
him, but there was not a regiment of American troops in the State. He 
could write home a glowing letter to the king. He was far from his sup- 
plies, which were at Wilming- 
ton, fully one hundred miles 
away ; but the loyal people 
would feed him, and he 
would soon be able to push 
north into Yirginia. 

On the 17th of February, 
he sent Tarleton north-west, 
with about four hundred men, 
to bring in the loyalists in 
that direj^n who were gath- 
ering tl|||v Colonel Pyle. 
On the very next day Greene 
sent Colonel Lee and Colonel 
Pickens across the Dan, and 
made preparations for the 
whole of his little army to 
follow. He had no intention 
of sitting down and allowing 



354 THE BOYS OF 76. 

the Tories to come to Cornwallis. If he could only keep them in awe, his 
lordship in a very short time would move somewhere else. Greene went 
with Lee and Pickens a day's march, giving them instructions, and return- 
ed in the night to his army. 

Lee and Pickens heard that Tarleton had passed north-west, and they 
followed on his track. They captured two of Tarleton's officers, and 
found out where Tarleton was. Tarleton does not know that Lee aud 
Pickens are on his track, and Lee and Pickens inform the country people 
that. they are Tories on their way to join Tarleton: by so doing, perhaps 
they w^ill be able to get within striking distance before Tarleton discovers 
who they are. 

The column is winding along the forest roads. Tarleton is not more 
than three or four miles away, resting in perfect security, thinking that 
Lee and all of Greene's army are forty miles distant on the other side of the 
Dan. Two Tories ride into Lee's lines, thinking the troops are Tarleton's. 

" We come from Colonel Pyle, who is close at hand, coming on a cross- 
road with four hundred loyalists," they say. 

"Ah, indeed!" 

" He will soon be here," they repeat. 

Colonel Lee sends word to Pickens to place his riflemen in the woods 
out of sight. The riflemen wear green twigs in their hats. 

" Will one of you please ride back to Colonel Pyle with Colonel Tarle- 
ton's compliments, and ask him if he will be so good as to draw^ out by the 
roadside, that my troops may pass on to their encampment." 

Lee makes the request. He has determined to capture the whole force 
of four hundred mounted Tories. He will get his whole line in front of 
tliem, halt it, and inform Colonel Pyle that the whole force are prisoners. 
Pyle's men have their muskets slung upon their shoulders, and will not be 
able to make resistance. The lines move along. Lee meets Colonel Pyle, 
and shakes hands with him. Suddenly there is firing down the lines. The 
trick has been discovered, and the Tories begin to fire. Terrible their mis- 
take. They are at a disadvantage. Lee would fain capture theija without 
shedding a drop of blood, but the melee has begun. It lasts fl^ely five 
minutes ; but when it is over ninety Tories are stretched upon the ground. 
Pyle escapes to a little pond close by, and conceals himself by its reedy 
shores. The whole body is captured or dispersed. Tarleton was only two 
miles distant. He heard the firing, and prepared for battle. Lee con- 
cluded to wait till morning before attacking, and in the night was joined 
by three hundred mountaineers who had heard of Greene's retreat, and 
had voluntarily left their homes and hastened to his aid. 





Morning came, but Tarleton was not to be seen : he was on his way 
east to Hillsborough, too far to be overtaken. The Tories, who were in- 
tending to flock to Cornwallis's aid, concluded to wait a little ^,^^.1==. 
while. They were amazed to find the Americans on the 
move, and astonished at the fate of the four hundred 
under Colonel Pyle. 

On the 23d, Greene, with his whole army, was 
south of the Dan. The Tories w^ere more down- 
cast than ever, and the Whigs, so lately discour- 
aged, plucked up heart again. ^ . zr^ -^sGf^ 
The militia hastened to join "J 

Cornwallis was astounded _ • 
when he found Greene south _!.- jS 
of the Dan and on the head- 
waters of the Haw River, which becomes the Gape Fear River farther 
down. He suddenly found his foraging parties cut off, and his troops 
constantly harassed b}^ Marion, Williams, Pickens, Sumter, and Lee, who 
would be in one place to-day and somewliere else to-morrow, and who 
kept the Tories in such awe that very few came to join the royal stand- 
ard. Cornwallis moved out fi'om Hillsborough to the Haw to strike a 
crushing blow; but he could not get at General Greene. 

The 10th of March came. Tlie trees were clothed in green, wild flow- 
ers bloomed by the wayside, the air was filled with their fragrance ; but 
on this day the soldiers of the two armies had little time to admire the 
beautiful in nature. 

Greene had four thousand two hundred and forty-three infantry, and 
one hundred and sixty-one cavalry. Only one thousand four hundred and 
ninety were Continental troops, the rest militia, who had come out for a 
few weeks' campaign. In a short time they would all be on their way 
home. General Greene wanted to fight, and he determined to take a 
good position and offer battle to Cornwallis. He might not win a victory; 
but a b^le, even if not a victory, might be a blow which would cripple 
Cornwallis. Greene would take care tlmt a defeat should not be a rout. 
His cavalry were superior to Cornwallis's, and could cover a retreat. Tlie 
ground around Guilford Court-house would be a favorable position. The 
main road runs north and south ; another road runs off west, at right an- 
gles, and leads to the Reedy Fork of the Haw River. 

The court-house stands at the junction of the roads, with a field north 
of the Reedy Fork road, and anotlier old field south of it, extending one 



hundred rods or more. There is a piece of woods, and south of the 
woods corn-fields on both sides of the road, where the farmers have just 
planted their corn ; and beyond the fields there is a ravine, with a little 
brook winding through it. The ground slopes all the way from the court- 
house to the brook, a distance of more than half a mile. 

Cornwallis is south-west of Guilford, near New Garden meeting-house. 
He is surprised to hear that Greene has advanced nearly twenty miles from 
the Reedy Fork, and is ready to offer him battle. For two weeks he has* 
been trying to get at him, and now Greene is waiting for him. He can 


not decline such an offer. He has twenty-five hundred disciplined British 
troops and several cannon, and he will crush the man whom he has been 
endeavoring, not only for the last two weeks, but all winter, to catch. 

On the southern border of the forest behind the log fence, along the 
northern edge of the corn-field, Greene posts the l^orth Caroli^^militia 
and some riflemen, under Colonels Butler and Eaton. They have a 
splendid position, protected by the fence, and will have a good chance at 
the British as they come across the corn-field. Behind them, about nine 
hundred feet, he places the second line, the Virginia militia, in command 
of General Lawson, east of the road, and General Stevens west of it. Back 
by the court-house, along the road leading to Beedy Fork on the top of the 
hill, he places the Continental infantry. They are twelve hundred feet in 



.le rear of the Virginians. General Hnger commands on the west, and 
Colonel Williams on the east side of the Salisburj^ road. Greene, with the 
'"3mainder of his troops, is near the court-house. Colonel Washington, 
with his cavalry and some infantry, is placed to support Huger on the 
west ; while Colonel Lee, with his cavalry, is stationed on the east to sup- 
port Williams. Greene has four pieces of artillery. Captain Singleton, 
with two six-pounders, takes position in the road between the corn-fields, 
and the other two pieces are on the hill south-west of the court-house. 

General Cornwallis is forming his men. The North Carolinians see 
the British coming from the woods. The Seventy-first regiment, Highland- 

G, British advanciDg; 1, first position of British; B, front line of Americans— North Carolinians; C, sec- 
ond line of Americans ; A, American right wing ; E, Maryland and Virginia Continentals ; 2, second 
position of British ; D, fight between Hessians and Americans ; 3, third position of British. 

ers, swings out east of the road. A Hessian regiment, under Colonel Bose, 
follows. General Leslie commands the wing. The Twenty -third and 
Thirty-third regiments, under Colonel Webster, file to the left, west of the 
I'oad. The artillery is in the centre, with the light-infantry and the Ya- 
gers behind. A battalion of the Guards, under Lieutenant- colonel Nor- 
ton, file east to support Leslie, and General O'Hara, with the Grenadiers 
and second battalion of the Guards, file west to support Webster. 

The two six-pounders, under Singleton, open fire, and the British guns 

358 THE BOYS OF 76. 

reply. Slowly the British advance across the corn-field. The North Car- 
olinians open fire too soon. They do not w.ait, as Stark's nien waited at 
Bunker Hill. The bullets, for the most part, go wide of the mark ; only 
here and there a man drops. On the British move. They are within 
good distance, and they halt and fire a volley. 

"Charge!" Leslie. shouts it. With a hurra the line sweeps across the 
corn-field, and the North Carolinians drop their guns, throw away knap- 
sacks and canteens, and fiee like a flock of sheep through the woods. 

" Stand ! stand ! Come back ! come back !" shout the oflScers ; but in 
vain. In a moment they are gone. Foolish men! If they had but re- 
served their fire till the British were within ten rods, if they had stood 
their ground behind the fence, far different would have been the result Df 
the battle. Back through the woods, through the second line they stream- 
ed, all except a handful, under Colonel Campbell, who bravely maintain 
their ground a wliile. 

But the British are brought to a stand, for the flanking troops of Col- 
onel Washington and Colonel Lee are galling them. Cornwallis half- 
wheels the Hessian regiment to face the east, and attacks Lee ; and the 
Thirty-thii'd regiment, with the light-infantry, makes a similar movement 
west to attack Washington. He fills the gap in the line by advancing 
two battalions of the Guards. It is a well-executed movement, like that 
which a checker-player makes when he keeps the wa}^ to a king-row well 

On toward the Virginians moves the compact line of British. The 
Virginians pour in a deadly fire, and there is confusion in the British 
ranks; but the men are old soldiers, and discipline holds them. The Vir- 
ginians retreat, not panic-stricken, but in excellent order. Cornwallis is 
confident of an easy victory. The British, under Webster, come out into 
the field in front of the Maryland ers, under Colonel Gunby. The Mary- 
landers have been in many a battle. Their muskets blaze, and then they 
rush forward down the hill, charging bayonet. It is discipline against dis- 
cipline. Webster's line weavers, gives way, and the men flee in confusion 
toward the woods. Oh for another regiment like that from Maryland ! 
Vain the wish; they are the only veterans on the field. Greene has no 
troops to throw in behind them, to press on and follow up the work. 
Stevens is wounded, the Virginians in retreat ; and Leslie and O'Hara, on 
the British side, are just ready to fall upon the Second regiment of Mary- 
landers, under Colonel Greene. Gunby goes downi beneath his horse, but 
Howard takes command. The cavalry under Washington charge the 



. Cornwallis's liorse,is shot beneath him, and he has the mortification of 
seeing his best troops fleeing from the field. The flight must be stayed, 
the pursuers driven, or the day is lost. 

" Open with the artillery !" he shouts. 

" It will kill our own men," O'Hara replies. 

" I know it, but it must be done." 

Crash go the British cannon, and British and Americans fall before 
the murderous storm. In a moment the British soldiers drift past the 
artillery, and the Americans are stopped. It is the crisis of the battle — 
the end of it. 

On the east side of the road the British are advancing. The American 
militia are retreating. Greene surveys the scene. He sees what has been 


gained, and what may be lost. He has inflicted a terrible blow upon Corn- 
wallis. He can retreat now, and save his army. To remain and attempt 
to win the victory will end in failure, and he issues tlie order for retreat. 
The horses are shot, and he must leave his artillery behind him. 

" You will cover the retreat," is his order to the Second Marylanders. 
The regiment takes its stand, and the army files away in good order, ready, 
if pressed, to turn at any moment and smite the pursuers. Lee and Wash- 
ington, with the cavalry, remain with the Marylanders. Tarleton would 
like to rush upon them, but Cornwallis has narrowly escaped an utter rout, 
and calls him back. About four hundred Americans have been killed and 
wounded, while Cornwallis has lost six hundred and thirty-three. 

This battle, in its results, was one of the most important of the w^ar. 



In December, when Greene took the command of the Southern Depart- 
ment, the British and Tories were masters of the Southern States. They 
held a line of posts from the Atlantic to the mountains. Cornwallis had 
fully four thousand men in the held ; but now he was forced to abandon 
the interior, and make a hasty retreat to the sea-coast, at Wilmington. The 
Tories were disheartened, and the Whigs triumphant ; and the cause of 

liberty, which had been so gloomy, 
was bright once more. 

General Marion was north of 
Charleston, not far from the Santee 
River, when a British officer came 
with a flag of truce to see him about 
exchanging prisoners, and was taken 
into the camp blindfolded. The of- 
ficer had heard much about Mar- 
ion ; and instead of finding, as he 
had expected, a man of noble pres- 
ence in an elegant uniform, he saw 
a small, thin man, in homespun 
clothes. Around were Marion's sol- 
diers, some of them almost naked, 
some in British uniforms, which they 
had captured — a motley set, with all kinds of weapons, large muskets, 
rifles, shot-guns, swords made by country blacksmiths from mill -saws. 
Tlie business upon which the officer had come was soon settled. 

" Shall I have the honor of your company to dinner ?" said Marion. 
The officer saw no preparation for dinner. A fire was burning, but 
there were no camp-kettles, no Dutch ovens, no cooking utensils. 
" Give us our dinner, Tom !" said Marion to one of his men. 
Tom was the cook. He dug open the fire with a stick, and poked out 
a fine mess of sweet -potatoes. He pricked the large ones to see if they 
were done, blew the ashes from them, wiped them on his shirt-sleeve, 
placed the best ones on a piece of bark, and laid them on the log between 
Marion and the officer. 

" I fear our dinner will not prove so palatable to you as I could wish, 
but it is the best we have," said Marion. 

The British officer was a gentleman, and eat of the potatoes, but soon 
began to laugh. " I was thinking," he said, " what some of my brother- 
officers would say if our Government were to give such a bill of fare as 
this. I suppose this is only an accidental dinner." 




" N'ot so, for often we don't get even this." 

" Though stinted in provisions, yon, of course, draw double pay." 


" T^ot a cent, sir. We don't have any pay. We are fighting for our 

The officer was astonished. They had a long and friendly talk, and the 
officer, bidding Marion good-bye, went back to Georgetown. 

362 THE BOYS OF 76. 

Colonel Watson was in command of the British there. " What makes 
you look so serious ?" Colonel Watson asked. 

" I have cause to look serious," the officer replied. 

" Has Marion refused to treat ?" 

*^'No, sir; but I have seen an American general and his officers, witli- 
out pay, almost without clothes, living on roots and drinking water, and all 
for liberty ! What chance have we against such men f' 

The officer was so impressed by what he had seen, that he could fight 
no more, but disposed of his commission and returned to England. 

General Greene sent Marion and Lee south to get between the British 
and Charleston, and cut off their supplies. They marched to Fort Watson, 
a strong fortification on the east bank of the Santee Biver, about fifty 
miles north of Charleston. It was built of logs, stood on a hill, and was 
garrisoned by one hundred and twenty men, commanded by Lieutenant 
M'Kay. They sent him a summons to surrender ; but he was a brave of- 
ficei-, and informed them that he intended to defend the fort. He knew 
that Lord Eawdon would soon be there to aid him with several hundred 
men. Marion and Lee knew that Lord Bawdon was on the march, and 
they resolved to capture the fort before he arrived. 

They saw that there was no well in the fort, and that the garrison had 
to come out and creep down to the river to obtain water. The riflemen 
soon stopped that. Then M'Kay set his men at work digging a well, and 
carried it down to the level of the lake, and had a good supply of water. 

Lee and Marion knew that there was a large amount of supplies in the 
fort, for, besides what was inside, there were boxes and barrels outside. 
Some of the militia tried to creep up and get a barrel ; but the garrison 
killed one and wounded another. A brave negro, named Billy, with Mar- 
ion, looked at the supplies, saw that one of the hogsheads was only a few 
feet from the edge of the bluff, and resolved to try what he could do. 
He crept up very near without being seen, then, before the British could 
fire upon him, he was crouched behind the hogshead. The ground was a 
declivity, and soon the British soldiers saw that the hogshead was in mo- 
tion. They fired at it, but they could only see some black fingers clasp- 
ing the chimbs, and in a few minutes the hogshead disappeared down the 

Billy obtained an axe, broke open the hogshead, and found that he had 
captured one hundred and fift}^ shirts, one hundred knapsacks, fifty blank- 
ets, and six cloaks. He distributed them to the soldiers, many of whom 
had no shirts. Marion named the negro " Captain Billy," and every one 
treated the brave fellow with great. respect. 



Kawdon was close at hand. Marion and Lee could see the light of liis 
camp-fires on the hills in the west. Whatever was done must be done 
quickly. But what could they do ? They had no cannou ; and even if 
they liad, they could not batter down the fort ; but a bright thought came 
to Colonel Mahan — to build a tow^er which would overlook the fortification. 
As soon as night came, all the axes in the camp were in use. The British 
could hear the choppers, and wondered what was going on; but they were 
astonished in the morning when they saw a tower higher than the fort, 
and a swarm of men on the top firing through loop-holes, and picking off 
with their rifles every man who showed his head above the parapet. Lord 
Rawdon had not come, and Lieutenant M'Kay saw that he would soon 
lose all his men, and that he must surrender. Before noon the Americans 
were in possession of the fort, and all its supplies. 







A BOUT forty miles north-west of Charleston, near the line between. 
-^-^ Charleston and Orangeburg counties, are some wonderful springs. 
The water boils up from the ground, clear and pure. It is a subterrane-. 
an river that appears npon the surface, and that winds through the low- 
lands north-west for about two miles, 
and empties into the Santee at Nelson's 

Beneath the grateful shade of the 
surrounding forest, Colonel Stuart, in 
command of the British forces in South 
Carolina, was encamped on the 8th of 
September, 1781. Lord Rawdon had 
returned to England, worn down by the 
fatigue of tlie campaign. Colonel Stu- 
art had twenty -three hundred men. General Greene was only sixteen 
miles distant, on the high hills of the Santee, north of the river. There 
were no boats on the Santee by which he could cross it to attack Stuart, 
and he had only twenty-six hundred men, of whom, however, not more 
than sixteen hundred could be of any account in a battle, for a thousand 
were poorly armed, or were sick, or were required to bring in supplies. 
Yet General Greene determined to strike a blow at the British. 

He broke up his camp on the 22d of August, marched north-west about 
twenty-five miles, almost to Camden, and crossed at the Camden Ferry ; 
then turned south, and marched rapidly to the Congaree, about twenty-live 
miles, and crossed it at Friday's Ferry; then turned south-east toward 
Eutaw Springs, twenty-five miles away ; making a march of seventy-five 
miles to get sixteen. Rain had been falling, the swamps were 'B]^ 
with water, and all the low-lands were flooded, making the march *- 
cult one. The sun was hot, and at midday the army rested ; ^ 



day- break till mid -forenoon, and from four o'clock till late in the night, 
the soldiers plodded their weary way. 

General Greene learned that General Stnart intended to erect a fort 
at the springs, from which parties could go out in all directions to rob the 
Whigs, and stir up the Tories to enlist in the king's cause, and he deter- 
mined to strike a blow that would frustrate the design, even if he were 
defeated in battle. He had few 
stores, and w^ould not risk them. 
He prepared for a retreat, if a 
retreat should be necessary, by 
sending all his heavy baggage 
to Howell's Ferry, on the Con- 
garee, where it could be taken 
across the river at a minute's 

General Marion knew all 
the country — every lonely path 
through the woods, as well as 
every highway; and so vigilant 
were his men, that Stuart's spies, 
scouts, and foraging parties were 
captured one by one. Stuart, 
having no suspicion that Greene was making such a roundabout move- 
ment, was resting in security at Eutaw Springs. 

Stuart's camp is. a few rods south of the springs, in a field at the junc- 
tion of the great road leading south-east to Charleston, with the river road 
running east and west. There is a brick two-story house on the north side 
of the road at the junction, with a garden behind it reaching down to the 
springs. "West of the house, and north of the road, is a cleared field ; and 
there is another field across the road, and opposite the first. In these fields 
Stuart has pitched his tents. There are fences around the garden and 
fields. It is only a mile north in a direct line to the river. The swamp 
and creek in that direction w^ill prevent Greene from flanking Stuart on 
the north. The woods around the field are thick, the trees tall and large, 
and the gray moss hangs in long, trailing, sombre masses from the timber. 
The clearing is on a hill thirty feet or more above the level of the springs. 
It is a strong position ; but General Greene determines to attack it, never- 

General Greene is at Burdett's plantation, seven miles west of Eutaw, 
on the 7th of September. The men go into camp, cook their supplies, and 



366 THE BOYS OF 76. 

lie down beneatli the trees for a few hours' rest before marchinof to battle. 
Stuart does not know that they are there ; but during the night two Xorth 
Carolina men, who liave been forced into service against their will, take 
revenge by deserting. 

"We come from the American army. It is only seven miles distant, 
and you are going to be attacked in the morning," they say, when brought 
before General Stuart. 

The British general does not believe it. Greene can not have reached 
that position undiscovered. The men are spies, and he orders them un- 
der guard. If he finds that they are spies, they will dangle from the 
limbs of one of the live-oaks in the morning. lie will see, however, if 
there are any Americans lurking in the vicinity; and orders Major John 
Coffin, brother of Admiral Isaac Coffin, and refugee from Boston, wlio 
sailed with General Howe to Halifax in 1776, and who is now in Carolina 
fighting for the king, to beat them up. 

By daylight Greene is on the march with about twenty-three hundred 
men. At the same time. Major Coffin, with four hundred men, is pushing 
out to see if there is any trutli in the report of the deserters, and also to 
dig sweet-potatoes on a plantation not far away. He suddenly finds him- 
self face to face with Major Armstrong, of Lee's cavalry, who is leading 
the advance of Greene. 

" There are some Whig miHtia," is the word in Coffin's ranks. 

" Charge !" is the order of Coffin, and his troops come riding down the 
road to scatter the Whig militia ; but the Whig militia do not run. They 
sit in their saddles, take deliberate aim, and one after another of the Brit- 
ish troops tumbles to tlie ground. " Charge !" It is Lee who gives the 
command, and his men, with drawn swords, sweep down the road, scatter- 
ing tlie British in an instant. Forty prisoners are captured, and several 
are killed and wounded. 

The potato-diggers, protected by a body of infantry, are close at hand ; 
but the dio'crers throw down their hoes, and flee toward Eutaw. 

General Greene, seeing the British infantry, directs his aid to ride to- 
ward them, and inform them that if they do not surrender he will be 
under the necessity of cutting them to pieces; and the British give them- 
selves up. Major Coffin's party is utterly routed. A sudden but effective 
blow has been struck already upon Stuart. 

There is commotion in Stuart's camp — drums beating, soldiers spring- 
ing to their arms. Some of the soldiers take position behind the gai-den 
fence, others place logs around the brick house, and in a short time make 
it a strong "fort. The walls are thick, and Greene, with his two thi-ee- 




pounders and two six-pounders, will have to batter them a long while be- 
fore he can make them crumble. From the "windows Stuart's marksmen 
will pick off the Americans as they approach. 

Stuart could hai'dly believe that Greene was at hand with his whole 
force, or that he would dare attack him in so strong a position. He did 
not strike his tents, for he was sure of driving the rebels pell-mell up the 
road in a very few minutes. He formed his men in a single line in the 
edge of the woods by the field, four hundred feet from his tents. 

On the north side of the road, west of the garden, he placed the Third 
regiment, or "the Buffs," as the soldiers called them. Colonel Cruger, with 
the fragments of several battalions and companies, is placed in the centre 
across the road, and the Sixty-third and Sixty-fourth on the south side. 
Behind the Buffs, he placed a battalion of light - infantry, under Major 
Majoribanks. The major had his troops in a thicket of black-jack. Some 
of his soldiers were posted by the spring. Major Coffin, with his cavalry, 
was placed in the field south, to guard the left flank. The artillery was 
stationed in the road, while a detachment of infantry was sent out a mile 
to skirmish with Greene as he advanced. 

Greene formed his men in two lines. In the front line, which he 
placed south of the road, on the right, was a battalion of South Carolina 
militiaj under General Marion ; then came two battalions of IS^orth Caro- 
lina militia, under Colonel Malmedy. On the north side of the road was 
another battalion of South Caro- 
lina militia, under Colonel Pick- 
ens. The whole front line was 
under Marion. He planted his 
two six -pounders in the road be- 
tween the Xorth Carolinians. A 
short distance behind them he 
stationed three small brigades of 
Continental troops. On the south 
side of the road, behind Marion's 
South Carolinians, he placed the 
xs'orth Carolinians, three battalions 
of them, commanded by Lieuten- 
ant-colonel Ashe, Major Arm- 
strong, and Major Blonnt. Gen- 
eral Sumner commanded the bri- 
gade. In the centre were two battalions of Virginians, under Major Snead 
and Captain Edmonds — both under Colonel Campbell. On the north side 


368 THE BOYS OF 76. 

of tlie road were the Marvlanders — one battalion under Lieutenant-colonel 
Hovv'ard, the other under Major Hardnian, and both under General Wil- 
liams. He gave General Lee charge of the right flank, and placed some 
battalions of State troops, commanded by Colonel Wade Hampton, Col- 
onel Polk, and Colonel .Middleton — the whole under Colonel Henderson — 
to protect the left. General Greene had still a few troops left. He would 
not extend his lines, and so held them in reserve. They were Lieutenant- 
colonel AVashington's cavalry, and a battalion of Delaware troops, under 
Captain Kirk wood. 

General Greene believed in double lines and in a reserve, and he 
placed his best troops in the second line, as at Guilford Court-house. If 
the first line of militia gives way, as possibly it may, there will be some 
old soldiers behind to receive the shock. At Guilford he was the party 
attacked ; but now things are reversed, and he is about to attack a superior 
force. What chance has he of success ? Kot much. Why, then, does he 
attack ? Because, even if he is defeated, he can strike a blow which will be 
almost equivalent to a victory. If he can give an effective blow, he will 
compel Stuart to leave the interior and take refuge in Charleston, and so 
free the upper country. He will take care that a defeat shall not be a 
rout, as he did at Guilford. That battle, though he was driven from the 
field, compelled Cornwallis to retreat to Wilmington, and it was the turn- 
ing-point of the war in the South. If he can compel Stuart to retreat to 
Charleston, it will be a victory. To complete his arrangements, he places 
his two three-pounders in the front line, and the two six-pounders in the 
second line. He will begin the battle with the militia and the three- 
pounders, but will end it with the Continental troops and the six-pound- 
ers. Stuart will find the contest hardest at the close, and not at the be- 

It is nine o'clock. The sky is cloudless, and the day is hot, but the 
men are sheltered by the foliage of the trees. They are in the woods, and 
the trees will be a shelter not only from the burning heat, but also from 
the bullets of the enemy. 

The army was still a mile fi'ora the Eutaw, moving slowly, when it met 
the detachment which Stuart had sent out. Lee was in front. He con- 
cluded that he wa& near the main body of the Bi-itish. There was the 
roar of a cannon, and a ball came whirring through the woods. Lieuten- 
ant Gaines unlimbered his three-pounders ; and when the British sent a 
shot, Gaines returned two ; and in a very short time the British fell back 
to Eutaw. The troops filed right and left, and took position i: . er 

of battle. Gaines unlimbered his three-pounders again and (^ t^ ; r/e, 

EUTAW. 369 

and the British artillery replied. Gaines was a good gunner, and he very 
soon dismounted one of the British guns, but not long after had both of 
his three-pounders disabled. The militia were getting used to the sound 
of tlie cannon. The cannon-balls of the British made havoc among the 
trees, but flew harmlessly over the heads of the soldiers. 

Through the under-brush the militia in the front line can see now, as 
they advance, the bright- red uniforms of the British regulars. It is about 
a quarter-past nine when the musketry begins. The success of the morn- 
ing has stirred the blood of the militia. They have got used to the roar 
of the cannon ; they are partly sheltered by the trees, and they take steady 
aim. They fire, load, step forward a little, fire again, and so advance. 
The British are firing, and the air is filled with the whistling bullets. 

Over on the right. General Lee's infantry is engaged with the Sixty- 
third British. The Sixty -fourth, in turn, is pressing the ]N"orth Carolin- 
ians in the centre, under Malmedy; but the North Carolinians, anxious 
to wipe out the stain of the panic at Guilford, hold their ground till they 
have fired seventeen rounds ; then, and not till then, do they yield. They 
do not flee panic-stricken, but fall back behind the Continentals, under 

Stuart has resolved to break Greene's centre. He will strike a great 
blow there by moving straight down the road. He will throw in his re- 
serve, and it shall be like a wedge driven into a log : by such a movement 
he will rend Greene asunder, and cut him up piecemeal. The fight goes 
on more fiercely, and at close quarters. The three-pounders are disabled; 
but the six-pounders open with a louder roar. Henderson, on the north side 
of the road, can not advance against Majoribanks on account of a thicket; 
but he holds his ground, and Lee is holding his, on the right flank. Stu- 
art presses on his men in the centre, and the North Carolina Continentals 
retreat in confusion. But there are two cool-headed men on horseback in 
the rear who are watching the battle. One is the man from Rhode Island, 
whom Washington long ago selected as the fittest general of the army to 
be his successor, in case he should fall — General Greene. Close by is Otho 
H. Williams, who has been Greene's right arm all through the Southern 

" Advance and sweep the field with your bayonets 1" is Greene's order ; 
and the Virginians and Mary landers, under Campbell, with loaded mus- 
kets and fixed bayonets, advance. On, on, slowly and steadily, they move, 
till they are not more than one hundred feeffrom the British. So near, 
and no faltering on either side ! It takes courage for men to stand still 
and look into the muzzles of a line of muskets so near, knowing that the 


370 THE BOYS OF 76. 

next moment a murderous storm will burst forth — a lightning flash, a 
cloud of blinding smoke and roar of thunder, and that there is certain 
death for scores of men behind it all. Face to face stand the Continent- 
als and the veterans of England. There are two flashes of lightning, two 
thunder-peals, and the ground is strewed with tlie dying and the dead. 

Tlie Continentals do not stop to reload ; tliey do not flee, not even 
falter; but, with a wild hurra, burst through the cloud and rusli upon the 
Britisli, who flee in confusion through the woods and across the fleld. 

There is a panic in Stuart's camp. Men are fleeing in haste down the 
Chai-leston road, horsemen crying, " AVe are defeated !" Some of them 
ride forty miles to Charleston. Tlie Americans secure two cannon. The 
fleld is won — so the soldiers think. They are in possession of Stuart's 
camp. Tents, provisions, all are theirs. Pi'ovisions ! Eum ! What sol- 
dier can refrain from halting and taking a dram, a big drink, after such a 
triumph? They rend the air with their shouts. They drink, and shake 
hands over the victory. Lee is following the British, but suddenly comes 
to a halt, for the brick liouse is a fortress. The Bi'itish are inside, as in 
the Chew liouse, at Germantown, and pour a murderous fire from the 
windows. The British outside have not all fled. In the thicket belo^v 
the house, and around the spring, is their right wing, protected by the 
thicket, the garden fence, and the defenses which Stuart has thrown up. 
The battle is not over, nor is the victory won. How shall the British be 
dislodged ? Colonel Washington sees a place down by the creek where his 
cavalry can dash through in sections, and get in their rear. The attempt 
is made, but the troops go dowm one by one. Washington's horse is shot 
under him, and before he can disentangle himself he is captured. Hamp- 
ton and Henderson and Kirkwood advance, and the British, under Majori- 
banks, are compelled to fall back to the garden. The fence has been made 
so strong: that the o-arden and the house make tos^ether a formidable for- 

O ~ CD 

tress. Stuart and Coflin are behind the house rallying the fugitives. AVhat! 
British veterans flee before a motley crew of countrymen ! For shame ! 

Hum, rum — things good to eat, plunder — what wonder that the coun- 
trymen never before in battle, never before under discipline, should stop 
to eat and drink, and secure the baggage? But while they are doing it, 
the British, chagrined and burning to recover their lost encampment, are 
rallying. Gaines has been trying his six-pounders upon the house, but the 
walls are thick, and the balls do not pierce them. One by one his gunners 
fall, and now Majoribanks makes a rush, drives the Americans, and seizes 
the two British guns again, and brings them back to the honse. Stuart has 
reformed his men. He is in possession of the ' en, and 

EUTAW. 371 

General Greene can not dislodge him. The British liave a small cannon 
in the house, and fire it from a window, sweeping down the Americans. 
The success, the rum, the plunder, the heat, all have told on them. The 
battalions are disorganized ; brave officers have been lost. Greene sees that 
it will not be possible to get possession of the house, and that it is useless 
to attempt it. He has struck a telling blow, and is confident that Stuart 
will soon retreat to Charleston. It is nearly one o'clock : the men have 
marched seven miles, fought four hours, and they are not demoralized; on 
the contrary, feel that they have won a victory. He places Hampton in 
position to guard the rear, and draws off the troops, taking one British 
cannon, thouo-h leaving; his own in their hands: but two of them are disa- 
bled and of no account. Campbell is dead. Washington, Howard, and 
Henderson are wounded. One hundred and thirty privates have been 
killed, and the loss, all told, is five hundred and thirty-five, or nearly one- 
fourth of tlie army. The British have lost, in killed and wounded, six 
hundred and ninety-three. Back to the camp of the night before Greene 
marches, taking with him over five hundred prisoners. 

The morning of the 9th dawns, and Stuart is marching toward Charles- 
ton. He has lost half of his army. He has destroyed every thing that he 
can not take away. Lee and Marion are hanging on his rear, picking up 
stragglers. So the defeat, as at Guilford, becomes a victory, and people 
all over the country and across the water in England said, that of all the 
American commanders, next to Washington, stood Nathaniel Greene, of 
Rhode Island. 

372 THE BOYS OF 76. 



NEW LONDON was an important town on the west bank of the 
Thames, in Connecticut. Privateers were fitted out there whicli 
captured many Bi'itish ships. The sliipmen and sailoi'S of New London 
were brave and daring. One day in May, 1779, a British fleet of tw^enty- 
one vessels, under convoy of a frigate, and the Lady Erskine^ of ten guns, 
was passing along the Sound, when three sloops sailed out of the harbor 
and captured the Lady Er shine. So energetic were the New London 
sailors, that nine Toiy privateers were captured between the 1st of March 
and the 13th of June, 1779. British ships arriving from England and 
sailing up the Sound to New York, almost at the end of the voyage, were 
suddenly pounced upon and captured by the New London sailors. In 
August, 1781, the ship Hannah^ from London, with the richest cargo 
brought to America during the war, was captured by the Minerva and 
taken into that port. 

The capture exasperated Sir Henry Clinton, and he determined to 
make New London pay for it. Perhaps he thought also that a movement 
of a force into Connecticut would trouble Washington, w^io w^as closing 
around Coi-nwallis at Yorktown. An expedition of thirty-two vessels — 
eight of them war-ships — was fitted out. Two thousand men were sent 
from New York, and General Arnold was made commander. He was 
born close by New London. His home was on the bank of the Thames, 
between New London and Norwich, and he was just the man, Sir Henry 
thought, to be let loose upon his old neighbors. 

The people of New London looked out upon the calm waters of the 
Sound on the evening of the 5th of September, and saw a great fleet of 
vessels sailing close . under the Long Island shore ; but many a fleet had 
sailed the Sound during the war, passing by New London ; and so, think- 
ing that no harm was nigh, they went to bed as on other nights. 

The vessels were steering eastward. Little did the sleepers in New 
London dream that, when darkness came on, all the vessels turned their 


wallis at Charleston, to receive it. General Lincoln holds it a moment, 
and gives it back to O'Hara, to be returned to Cornwallis. 

The scene is over. Eleven thousand men, including soldiers, sailors, 
and Tories, are surrendered — a little over seven thousand being British 
and Hessians. Seventj-iive horses, one hundred and sixty-nine iron can- 
non — all the supplies and ammunition, tents, camp equipage, eleven thou- 
sand dollars in money, are among the spoils. 

Joy, joy, joy everywhere! Lieutenant- colonel Tilghman is sent by 
Washington to carry the news to Congress at Philadelphia. It is mid- 
night when he arrives. The watchmen are going through the town ; the 
slumbering people, hear them crying the hour of midnight as never before 
— louder, quicker, and more joyfully. '^Twelve o'clock^ and Cornwallis 
is taken /" 

Out from their beds they spring. Women in night-caps appear at the 
windows, people rush into the streets to hear the news — Cornwallis taken ! 
Cornwallis taken ! No news like that since Buro-ovne laid down his arms 
at Saratoga. 





WITH tlie surrender of tlie British army at Yorktown the king's 
ministers lost all hope of conquering the Americans. It was a ter- 
rible blow to Lord North. When he received a letter informing him of 
the surrender of Cornwallis, he threw up his hands as if a bullet had 
struck him, and said, " O God, it is all over !" 

The king was for sending more armies, but the British people were 
tired of the war. They had seen one army after another melt away; 
taxes were more burdensome than ever, and they saw that the Americans 
never could be conquered ; that men who would throw down the axe and 
hoe, and leave tlie plow in the furrow, and hasten to capture an army. 

Washington's head-quarteks at NEWB#RGn. 



would maintain their liberties against tlie king's attempts to subjugate 
them. There were many Englishmen who from the beginning stoutly 
maintained that the Americans were right, and that they ought to be free ; 
and there was so much opposition to a continuance of the struggle, that 
Lord [N'orth resolved to give up all further effort, for it had already cost 
England five hundred million dollars and fifty thousand lives. 

Tliere were still British soldiers in America. In South Carolina the 
Whigs continued to fight the British and Tories. Sir He;iry Clinton was 
in New York, and General Washington witli the American army was on 


the Hudson at !N"ewbm'gh, with his head-quarters in a Dutch farm-ho 
It was a quaint old building. The dining-room had seven doors, and 'C—^ 
one window. The fire-place was large, the walls low, and there were great 
beams overhead ; but there the commander-in-chief entertained his officers 
and their wivps Mrs. Washington was with him, and many pleasant din- 
ner pa bled in the spacious dining-room. 

It f two years after the surrender of Cornwallis at York- 

town war was wholly ended; but on the 3d of September, 

1783, ,s made at Paris between the English and American com- 

398 THE BOYS OF 76. 

missioiiers, and the United States was recognized as a free and independ- 
ent nation. 

So, after fighting more than seven years, after suffering untold hard- 
sliips and privations, the Boys of '76 obtained their liberties, established 
the United States as a nation, and secured to mankind a government of 
tlie people and for the people forever.